Released 1933 (USA)
American, in English
Director – Frank Lloyd
Stars – Diana Wynyard, Clive Brook, Una O’Connor, Herbert Mundin
This movie follows the lives of two British families – the wealthy Marryots (Diana Wynyard & Clive Brook) and the lower-class Brooks (Una O’Connor & Herbert Mundin) – from the turn of the 20th century through 1933, including all of the highs and the lows. In the opening credits, it bills itself as seeing life from the feminine perspective.
It involves a lot of “staring off into space with a constipated look to indicate a serious reaction” style acting. (Or, if you’re familiar with “Friends,” the “I just smelled a fart” method of acting.)
You know, I realize that it was a different time and people viewed women differently back then, but the truth is that women have been watching their men go off to war for centuries without falling apart. Jane Marryot’s simpering and crying every time war was mentioned got pretty annoying. And for a lady who was so upset to see her men go off to war, she seemed pretty much okay when [SPOILER] some of them never came back again.
It’s nearly two hours long. Although things happen, it somehow felt like nothing ever happened.
It was relatively true to real life, which is not all sunshine and puppies. Bad things happen.
Unintentional hilarity ensued yet again during a montage of men dying during WWI. I can only watch so many scenes of guys clutching their chests, grimacing, and falling to the ground before I get the giggles.
I found the montage that covers the 1920s, showing how the whole world fell apart after WWI, to be very interesting. At least, I think it’s interesting that people felt that way at that time. It was a time of huge social upheaval, especially in Britain. Interesting to think about.
I didn’t really like this movie. I didn’t hate it either. It was okay. I give it 2.5 stars.
Here is a recap of my previous reviews of the 3 winners that came after this one:
1934 – “It Happened One Night,” 4 stars
1935 – “Mutiny on the Bounty,” 2 stars
1936 – “The Great Ziegfeld,” 1.5 stars