Archive for Ina Claire

Old Sparkie

Posted in FILM, Theatre with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 21, 2010 by dcairns

Joan Blondell goes to the chair — fer poimanent!

Sorry, that shouled have read “Joan Blondell sits in a chair for a permanent.”

Ina Claire, left, costumed by Coco Chanel.

Film: THREE BROADWAY GIRLS, AKA THE GREEKS HAVE A WORD FOR THEM. Apparently Goldwyn insisted on changing the play’s title from The Greeks Have a Word for It, further proof of his lack of taste and sense in my opinion. And then i guess the film didn’t do so well so they went for a blander title.

Smashing pre-code Goldwyn! The original of HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE, great performances by Claire and Blondell, decent support from Madge Evans, that oddly appealing drip David Manners, and suaveness machine Lowell Sherman, who also directed. Lots of spicy and amoral content, including Ina discarding her garb for an unparalleled fur-coat-and-no-knickers scene. Some combination of the Goldwyn quest for “quality” (that drab chimera), the theatrical origins, the limitations of ’30s technique, and Sherman’s direction, makes the film just a little stiffer than the very best pre-codes, but it benefits from the ability of the characters to constantly surprise us by stepping outside the norms of behaviour later enforced by censorship. Like so ~