Once Upon a Time In Hollywood
Forgot your password?
Don't have an account? Sign up here
and the Terms and Policies,
and to receive email from Rotten Tomatoes and Fandango.
Already have an account? Log in here
Please enter your email address and we will email you a new password.
We encourage our community to report abusive content and/ or spam. Our team will review flagged items and determine whether or not they meet our community guidelines.
Please choose best explanation for why you are flagging this review.
Thank you for your submission. This post has been submitted for our review.
Sincerely, The Rotten Tomatoes Team
The best romance movie ever made!
Joan Crawford plays another suffering character, but it's in grand MGM studio style. Joan plays a simple working girl who has many relationship trials and tribulations on the way to finally finding happiness. It's a pretty standard story for Crawford's pictures of this era, but it's a classy, well mounted production that elevates the rather formula story. Leo G. Carroll made his film debut with this film and the song, "All I Do Is Dream of You" was originally written for this film, but was later made famous when it was used for Debbie Reynolds in "Singin' in the Rain." Another interesting note of trivia, a clip of this film was one of the golden oldies that Crawford watches of herself as Blanche Hudson in "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?"
A quintessential Joan Crawford vehicle of the Depression era, this melodrama centers on a working-class femme (cook's daughter) and the three men in her life: bad boy lover Gene Raymond, rich boy Franchot Tone, and drunken millionaire Edward Arnold.
It's so strange that almost no one today knows about the extraordinary early career of Joan Crawford. She was America's leading lady in the 1930s and made an incredible number of wonderful little movies in that decade -- several gems per year, many with Clark Gable.
I stumbled upon movies like 1934's "Sadie McKee" while in the process of exploring Bette Davis's early movies. Now I know why Davis had such a bee in her bonnet when it came to Crawford: Davis was envious of Crawford all through the early 1930s. Crawford was the legend that Davis so wanted to become.
It's sad today that while Davis's movies are still seen, most of Crawford's aren't even available on disc! Tragic. Everyone remembers Crawford, but more for the sideshow that her personal life became and for the performances she gave after her rediscovery in "Mildred Pierce" (1945). No one watches her early movies. There's so little demand for them that most aren't even pressed on disc.
"Sadie McKee" has some problems, particularly when it comes to story structure. While it's a bit jumbled and tries to be too many things, it's also entertaining as hell and has some sublime moments that seem to stop time. I kept imagining myself in a theater in 1934 watching this gem flickering in the dark. Imagine going back in time to see movies in theaters in the 1930s, when cinema was still so fresh and new, still being invented. It gives me goosebumps.
Watching Joan Crawford's early work has made me fall in love with the movies all over again.
From 1932 comes this class Joan Crawford rags to riches tale - of a man who loved her, a man she loved and the man she was destined to be with. Not her absolute best but still an enjoyable film, especially if a Crawford fan.
2.5: There are few movie stars that have the kind of screen presence Joan Crawford has. This is by no means her best role or performance, but it is worthwhile none the less. It is both a bit too melodramatic for me and not melodramatic enough. In other words, Clarence Brown is no Douglas Sirk. The film definitely didn't play out like I thought it would from the opening scenes, or at least it didn't appear that it would until the very end, but it works from start to finish. Solid entertainment.
There is some surprisingly progressive acting on display in this melodrama from 1934 -- Joan Crawford and Ed Arnold are in a league of their own here. I love the scene where they both come home drunk. Esther Ralston does a nice faux Mae West, and Jean Dixon is very good in a low-key supporting role. For an old melodrama, this is better and less predictable than most I've seen. There are three men in Crawford's love life, and none of them are throw-aways. I wasn't sure which one she'd end up with, and I'd have been okay with any of them. With a lesser actress in the leading role, I can imagine this easily becoming a more superficial soap opera. But Crawford is an actress who never makes a false move. You can see the cogs moving in that brain of hers, and she makes damn sure the emotions are genuine, even in a movie as heightened as this. There's a deathbed scene near the end that almost takes things over the top, but it's so beautifully shot and performed, that I don't care.
I enjoyed this film because throughout it all, I really had no idea who Joan Crawford would finally end up with. I also enjoyed the multiple storylines and the character development throughout... and seeing Joan Crawford in her rags to riches roles always delights. Interesting finale too!
One of the better melodramas of the 1930s. It was released after enforcement began, but it's soon enough after that some things still made it through. This is a really great Joan Crawford performance, and it also has good support from Franchot Tone and Edward Arnold. I never really liked Gene Raymond, but he's okay here.
Rags to riches with Joan, the clothes are phenomenal the film dated.