on 21 May 2013
There was a Goulding retrospective in the 80s in London I read, and the drift in World Film Directors (Wakeman's master-work on the subject) suggests a proper reassessment is required of this significant multi-talented near auteur whose films are lauded in the entry (Pp 406-11). Seeking out this largely forgotten gem we find a great script (by Goulding) and slick early sound direction - no jerkiness, and very witty, unstagey and risque. It deals in a grown-up pre-code way with infidelity and, whilst there is a serious element to the story, it's never po-faced or moralising, in fact it's a delight and at times very funny indeed with some great supporting turns from Robert Montgomery and Mrs Patrick Campbell no less - a hoot. Norma Shearer is a fascinating presence and Herbert Marshall properly English-stiff but dry and amusing too. I would love to see a great new print in a proper theatre but until the tide turns, you'll have to make do with a big tele. maybe technology will come to the rescue in the next twenty years or so - it's a crying shame that we can't get it done quicker.