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Friday, December 27, 2013

THE GOLDEN ARROW (1936)

The one-two punch of this piddling Screwball Romance followed by SATAN MET A LADY/’36, a lame comedy-slanted remake of THE MALTESE FALCON/’31, finally drove Bette Davis to the London courts where she tried (but failed) to break her contract with Warner Bros. She should have just shown this film, lousy enough to break any contract!* Bette’s a phony heiress, hired on the QT by a cosmetics firm as a publicity dodge. But she’s grown tired of the society circuit and the constant glam life. A mistaken-identity meet-cute on her yacht with regular guy reporter George Brent offers her a way out. He seems a nice enough guy, why not try a marriage of convenience? Brent gets six months to finish his novel; Bette gets a ‘cover’ while she scans about for a decent spouse? Not such an awful an idea for a gagged-up comedy pic, but everyone working on this one (scripter, lenser, actors, director, studio) feels completely out of their fach. Maybe over at Paramount . . . with a rewrite . . . and Claudette Colbert. Maybe.**

SCREWY THOUGHT OF THE DAY: *Of course, if Davis had won the case, she’d have missed her legendary run @ Warners, and a decade of top-notch pics.

WATCH THIS, NOT THAT: **Paramount did make something like this in ‘36, but with Carole Lombard, THE PRINCESS COMES ACROSS. Goodish film . . . great title!

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