SEE THE BIG FIGHT! LOMBARD VS. MARCH. SELZNICK INTERNATIONAL’S SENSATIONAL TECHNICOLOR COMEDY.
Disgraced New York reporter Wally Cook (Fredric March) goes to Vermont to talk to a young woman (Carole Lombard) who’s dying of radium poisoning; he takes her to New York, where she’s a sensation… but she’s not really dying. A classic screwball comedy, albeit not one of the very best. Made the year after My Man Godfrey, it once again has Lombard playing a slightly hysterical character; she makes a great team with March, whose reporter is ensnared by that original lie. Together with William Wellman, he made A Star Is Born the same year, also in glamorous Technicolor. The film maintains a quick pace, even if there are few belly laughs.
1937-U.S. 75 min. Color. Produced by David O. Selznick. Directed by William Wellman. Screenplay: Ben Hecht. Short Story: James H. Street (”Cosmopolitan”). Cast: Carole Lombard (Hazel Flagg), Fredric March (Wally Cook), Walter Connolly (Oliver Stone), Charles Winninger, Sig Ruman, Frank Fay.
Trivia: Hecht allegedly wrote the film for John Barrymore. Remade as Living It Up (1954). Later a Broadway musical, ”Hazel Flagg”.
Quote: “He’s got a different quality of charm. He’s sort of a cross between a ferris wheel and a werewolf. But with a lovable streak if you care to blast for it.” (March on Connolly)