November 10, 2016
Review #866: Nothing Sacred.
Carole Lombard (Hazel Flagg), Fredric March (Wally Cook), Charles Winninger (Dr. Enoch Downer), Walter Connolly (Oliver Stone), Sig Ruman (Dr. Emil Eggelhoffer), Frank Fay (Master of Ceremonies), Troy Brown (Ernest Walker), Maxie Rosenbloom (Max Levinsky), and Margaret Hamilton (Warsaw, Vermont Drugstore Lady) Directed by William A. Wellman (#349 - Wings and #494 - The Public Enemy)
In a time like this, Nothing Sacred manages to find its place in being relevant to the point where it is timeless, in part due to a neat simple story and some fun screwball comedy within its satire elements. This film is readily easy to find, due to it being in the public domain after its copyright registration wasn't renewed in 1965, so you can find it on the Internet (or other alternative manners) without problem. It should be noted that this was the first screwball comedy in color, along with Lombard's only film in Technicolor, and it certainly stands out. This was also a film that used effects such as rear screen projection (most notably during the scene where the characters arrive in New York via plane). Lombard and March certainly have a decent chemistry together, especially when they argue, which culminates with a "boxing" scene at the end. Lombard has a welcoming presence, being one easy to root for, certainly fitting the part with enough grace and charm to fit such a fun role, which she often called one of her favorites. Connelly certainly stands out as the exasperated newspaper head; one of my favorite parts is when he tells March's character some news with a cracked voice, obviously trying to hide exasperation, which is amusing. As one would expect there is enough fine little lines, with a fine balance of timing. The rest of the cast is also pretty good, even if the film is really all about Lombard and March, who seem to have a really good time. The satire excels in that it doesn't choke the fun of the film nor does it seem artificial. It's not a film that will make you deeply about journalism and the "big story", but it is a movie that would inspire at least one conversation, and I suppose that is all that counts.
Overall, I give it 9 out of 10 stars.