A title card reads: “Hugh Porteous was the best man at Clive Cheney’s wedding – and he still was, as far as Lady Catherine was concerned.” As such, Lady Catherine (Joan Crawford) decides to leave her husband (Derek Glynne) and run away with his pal Porteous (Frank Braidwood). She pins a note to the PJ’s of her young son Arnold (Buddy Smith) while Porteous is being entertained by Lord Clive in his trophy room—his Lairdship’s showing off a few of the guns he’s collected over the years. The couple then hauls ass and elbows off to points unknown before Clive gets the opportunity to use any of the items in his collection.
|Malcolm McGregor, Eleanor Boardman|
"Man may select a wife--but he should be careful whose wife he selects." That’s the central premise of The Circle (1925), an adaptation (by Kenneth B. Clarke) of a successful 1921 stage play penned by W. Somerset Maugham. (The movie would later be remade in 1930 under the title Strictly Unconventional.) Seeing Maugham’s name attached to this production made me a little leery about sitting down with it the other night (I grabbed it off The Greatest Cable Channel Known to Mankind™) because I’m just not a fan of the man’s work (I had to read Of Human Bondage in high school…and hated every page of it). But in my autumn years, I have warmed up to a few films adapted from Maugham’s novels; Rain (1932—though I like the 1928 version, Miss Sadie Thompson, more), The Letter (1940), Christmas Holiday (1944), and The Painted Veil (2006) being among those movies.
|Frank Braidwood, Joan Crawford|
Tell it to the Marines, Bardelys the Magnificent, The Crowd), and the cast in the film does a splendid job with the farcical aspects (particularly Creighton Hale, whose constant sporting of a monocle made me chuckle for some odd reason). It’s available from the Warner Archive (released in 2012) if you’re curious—it just wasn’t my particular meat.