Sunday, January 06, 2008

Tonight's Movie: Man of the World (1931)

MAN OF THE WORLD is a surprisingly dreary romantic melodrama, given that it stars two of my all-time favorite actors, William Powell and Carole Lombard.

Powell and Lombard play a couple of Americans in Paris. Powell is a con man who wants to reform when he falls in love with sweet young thing Lombard. Unfortunately, Powell's longtime partner in crime, Wynne Gibson, won't stand for Powell reforming.

Powell gives a sensitive performance, while Lombard doesn't have much to do but look beautiful. All in all, though, the film is slow-paced and melancholy, and one is glad when it draws to a close after 72 minutes. This one is for Powell and Lombard completists only.

Powell and Lombard starred in LADIES' MAN with Kay Francis later in 1931, and more significantly, they were married that year. Although the marriage ended a couple years later, the couple remained friends and went on to star in the classic screwball comedy MY MAN GODFREY in 1936.

Guy Kibbee, George Chandler, and Lawrence Gray complete the cast for MAN OF THE WORLD. The movie was directed by Richard Wallace and Edward Goodman (the latter uncredited). The script was by Herman J. Mankiewicz.

MAN OF THE WORLD is available on DVD.

Reviews of other films in the Lombard DVD collection: LOVE BEFORE BREAKFAST, HANDS ACROSS THE TABLE, and THE PRINCESS COMES ACROSS.

Update: MAN OF THE WORLD is now also available as a single-title DVD from the Universal Vault Series.

Update: MAN OF THE WORLD is now available on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber.  I enjoyed the film quite a bit more on second acquaintance; my review of the Blu-ray is here.


Blogger Evangeline Holland said...

Ooh! You're right. I'm watching this right now and it's so dull. The only thing that saves it is William Powell, whom I could stare at and listen to for hours. It's really shocking how lifeless Carole Lombard was. All throughout the film, I wished her role had been taken by Norma Shearer or Ann Harding or Loretta Young.

12:56 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Interested to hear someone else's feedback -- since it stars two of my favorites I wondered later if it had just caught me at a time I wasn't in the mood for the movie or something (grin). It was just kind of slow and sad...

Best wishes,

12:59 PM  

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