Saturday, January 30, 2016

Laughter (1930)

Academy Awards, USA 1931

Best Writing, Original Story
Harry d'Abbadie d'Arrast
Douglas Z. Doty
Donald Ogden Stewart

Paramount Pictures
Directed by Harry d'Abbadie d'Arrast
My rating: 2 stars out of 4

Flapper Nancy Carroll is stuck in an unhappy marriage to prosperous Wall Street investor Frank Morgan. When an old boyfriend returns from France, she takes him up on an offer to drive around Long Island for the day. They break down and get stuck in the rain, seeking shelter at a nearby house. She resists his flirtation but they end up arrested for trespassing. Meanwhile, her step-daughter and best friend is being romanced by another ex-boyfriend: a moody artist fighting depression. It ends in a tragedy that makes her rethink her own life. Talky, melodramatic and predictable by today's standards, but daring in 1930, it still retains a modicum of interest.

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