- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Why Davis Rejected Glamour
In this film, Bette Davis is made up to look like "Miss Garbo" (quoting Bette Davis). She detested looking glamorous and being all gussied up like a movie star or aristocrat. You see, Bette Davis did not consider herself a movie star at all! This film is about a clothes designer, so making her up to the hilt goes with the character and she would do anything to go into character. Bette Davis looks gorgeous made up in this film. But that is not the point. Her acting is. Bette Davis was a character actor of the highest order. She was the best in the business. That she did not elect to play roles that over-glamourized her is what made her acting career and acting career instead of simply being a movie star or celebrity or popular personality. Perhaps we have this film to thank for that!
One of the Oldie Goodies
Bette Davis and Willam Powell really do a fine job of playing off of one another in this light-hearted drama. It's nearly a comedy. I enjoyed seeing the young actress in high fashions and made up as a real clothier would have been in the 1930's. Heck, I just enjoyed being able to watch the film at all, they're so hard to find. (Bless TCM for that opportunity). Robert Osborne's introduction about Bette Davis "walking around seething" in the costumes and make-up for the part doesn't seem characteristic of Davis because she'd go well out of her own skins to look the part of her role's character. Why not this one too? Did they all have to be scarred, diseased, aged, or otherwise unattractive for Davis to want to abide by the wardrobe and make-up choices? Aside from that off-beat comment, rare for Mr. Osborne to goof that way, I enjoyed this movie a lot.
That Last of Bette Davis Doing Glamour
A million thanks to TCM for airing this movie. I would have likely never had the opportunity to watch it otherwise. I was easily able to recognize the 26yo leading lady as Bette Davis. She didn't look much different to me from how she did in "Cabin in the Cotton," for example. The only difference I noticed was her costumes. But, for a fashion designer, it would have been odd had she not sported high fashions. After all, she was in the business to sell her clothes designs. That is, until Wiiliam Powell et all talked her into being involved in their business schemes. It's a funny, quirky film, especially when Powell gets to the part of promoting Ostrich feathers. He winds up with a ship load of Ostriches and their unhatched eggs to sell. But, he also winds up with Bette Davis in the end.
Powell & Davis: Unlikely Business Partners
In both senses, as characters in a film, and as actors on the same set, William Powell and Bette Davis doesn't sound like a good match. That is, not until you've watched them in action. The plot's fun. The acting's fantastic. The costumes are historic and Bette Davis is quite attractive as Lynn Mason the fashion designer. Davis isn't playing a 'plain Jane'. That wouldn't do for a fashion designer. Powell is playing a savory guy who's become a schemer. As such, Powell's got the right demeanor for the part. He and Davis do play well with one another.
Thanks TCM for this Bette Davis Oldie
It was hard to believe that this movie is 75 years old while watching it. But the theme of fashion designing does give the age away to people who know about eras of clothing styles. I enjoyed watching Bette Davis being all made up for a change. She was a beautiful woman. William Powell wasn't what I'd call handsome. But what a good actor he is in this movie. The music sure takes part of the center stage of this production. But Bette Davis' Lynn Mason steals the show.
Con Games in 1934 with Bette Davis
Bette Davis plays an innocent but glamorous fashion designer, Lynn Mason, who has a chance meeting with a business con artist Sherwood Nash (William Powell). Nash decides to use Mason's skill designing clothes for an international scam. But after he's done with it, largely due to Mason's influence, the two get together, as long as he quits with the con games. Both Davis' and Powell's performances are well worth watching. This is one film to own IF it can ever be found.
A Clothing Artist & A Con Artist
Bette Davis gets to be glamorous as a clothing designer in this movie. William Powell has to be the con-man who draws her into his get-rich-quick schemes. I'd never imagine Powell & Davis working well together. But the truth is that they do. Don't miss watching this on TCM or recording it to watch later since it's scheduled for 1AM. I can hardly wait to watch it again. It's quite rare with lots of post-depression era scenes & fashions to gawk over. Frankly, though, Davis' performance is the artistry to watch. Berkely's musical score is way too good.
Fashions of 1934 & Bette Davis
My preferences towards this early Bette Davis film are because she is used as a kind of model for the clothes of the 1930's. Since she plays a fashion designer, what people dress in is all important. So Davis' costumes are naturally a reflection of the fashions of the period. Aside from that, I was surprised by how well Powell & Davis madea grand co-stars. I'm grateful to TCM for scheduling it for this week because it's a film that's extremely rare & harder to find than I imagined. That;s too bad because this movie is well worth watching more than once.
The Con & the Clothier
A con man about to hit the skids (William Powell) makes an advantageous acquaintance with a clothier (Bette Davis) in time to begin a new scam. Using her fashion designing expertise, the con & his partner in crime have the clothier copy the designs of major companies. When they are caught, the clothier learns how the major designers come up with their ideas and uses the same method to create her own designs. They become the new fashions of 1934. Powell & Davis deliver delightful performances in this light-hearted drama. Davis plays an unusually glamorous role & is hardly recognizable until she speaks with her distinct style. I'm looking forward to watching it again in a few days on TCM. Where else could it be found?
Excited TCM has this Film Scheduled
After only watching this film once before because it is out of print, rarer than rare & not one we've been able to locate, it's exciting that we'll finally get to watch it this coming Wednesday, July 29th, 2009. To think it's been 75 years since it was released is awe inspiring. Knowing that both Bette Davis & William Powell co-star in it turning in very entertaining performances is too. We were talking about what we remember about it & what stood out for both of us was the quality of Davis' & Powell's performances, the Bugsby Berkeley musical score and all of those designer clothes from the mid-1930's. The plot is entertaining as well. But this film is of interest to us because of its historical significance as far as what it reveals about the appearances of people & their surroundings of the era.
William Powell & Bette Davis
The older these films get, the harder they are to find. That's why I'm glad that TCM is about to broadcast this film. It's quite rare. William Powell plays a desperate businessman who'll likely do unseemly things to keep from going bankrupt. Just in time, fashion designer, Bette Davis crosses his path. He convinces her to go into business with him. Problem is, he & his chum are into one scheme after the next to get rich quick using the fashion designer. The film's like a fashion show of sorts with a terrific music score. The plot thickens well & the Davis & Powell dynamic acting duo works very well. This is a film I want to own.
Nice Historical Background
While the plot of the film is about a businessman (Wm. Powell) about to go belly up when he finds a fashion designer (Bette Davis) just in time to go into a new business with her, which turns out to be filld with his schemes, there's a nifty bit of fashion history threaded throughout the main plot. Both Powell & Davis deliver swell performances that make for an interesting main plot that turns romantic. But, what I like almost as much are the clothes. It's like watching a fashion show that's 75 years old.
Where's Bette Davis ?
Great story, great musical numbers by Busby Berkley. But boy did they over glamourize Davis - she's hard to recognize under all that paint !
Fabulous Fashion Film.
Okay... I yet to see this film, but just the thought of Mr Powell and Ms Davis in the movie is leaving me excited to be able to watch and explore it. I know for sure this movie will be wonderfully done, acted and embraced by me. Im going to vote "what I think" but I know when Im done watching it will definitely rate a "10" with me! Happy New Years for 2009!