Monday, March 21, 2016

Dvd/150: DINNER AT EIGHT (George Cukor, 1933)

Made the year after MGM's similarly all-star GRAND HOTEL but far more enjoyable!

Based on George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber's play, George Cukor's deft direction melds the different styles of the cast into a seamless treasure.

Ailing Lionel Barrymore secretly faces financial ruin but his snobbish wife Billie Burke insists on hosting a dinner for a British lord. Barrymore's former amour, actress Marie Dressler needs to sell her stock in his company and competitor Wallace Beery is eager to buy them to shut the business down.  However his scheming wife Jean Harlow is determined he won't ruin her chance of entering society.

Burke invites drunken actor John Barrymore - art imitating life - unaware that her daughter is his lover.  But when his agent Lee Tracy makes him face reality, everything changes for the worse.

Stars and supporting cast deliver 100% but Harlow is iridescent in her satin and fur.

Shelf or charity shop? Whoever heard of a society dinner in a charity shop??

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