Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5. USA, 1933. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Screenplay by Frances Marion, Herman J. Mankiewicz, additional dialogue by Donald Ogden Stewart, based on the play by George S. Kaufman, Edna Ferber. Cinematography by William H. Daniels. Produced by David O. Selznick. Music by William Axt. Production Design by Hobe Erwin, Fredric Hope. Costume Design by Adrian. Film Editing by Ben Lewis.
MGM tried to recapure the glory of Grand Hotel with another ensemble comedy; they didn’t achieve the same success again but it’s still good, solid entertainment. The plot revolves around a dinner party that featherbrained society matron Billie Burke is throwing for a group of her closest friends. What she doesn’t know is that most of them are having difficulty attending thanks to their personal problems which we get to see played out and resolved before the great dinner party scenes that cap the film’s ending. The dialogue is extremely funny, the best of it delivered by bickering couple Jean Harlow and Wallace Beery, but the real humdinger is the film’s closing line delivered by Marie Dressler (I don’t want to ruin it for you, but it’s hilarious).