Friday, March 30, 2007

History Is Made at Night (1937)

***½
USA

Jean Arthur is a socialite undergoing a divorce to freakishly possessive Colin Clive when she falls in love with headwaiter Charles Boyer, who impersonates a thief in order to protect her, but then ends up accused of a murder committed by Clive, who blackmails Arthur and forbids her to say goodbye to Boyer, who is heartbroken and decides to travel with his star chef to America and make such exquisite food and combine it with such exquisite service that within weeks their restaurant will be the talk of the town and Arthur will be bound to come in and check out what all the fuss is about. Even within the parameters of soap opera, this one takes things to several silly, overwrought extremes. But Boyer is dashing, Arthur is radiant and the ten minutes worth of shipwrecking towards the end (spawned by some mindbending plot turns) are more moving and exciting than three hours worth of either of the various 'Titanic's.

dir: Frank Borzage
cast: Charles Boyer, Jean Arthur, Leo Carrillo, Colin Clive, Ivan Lebedeff, George Meeker

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