Cast & Crew
Photos & Videos
Wealthy Rod Deane takes nightclub singer Abby Fane, the girl he loves and plans to marry, to meet his family. His parents and family are aghast at the proposed match, for they believe that three generations of breeding will be lost. Nonetheless, Rod persuades Abby to marry him, and they honeymoon in Europe. The couple returns to find that Rod's best friend, Sigrift, has prepared a decorated apartment for them, which leaves Abby with nothing to do. On his $4,000 monthly allowance, Rod indulges in high-living and partygoing until Abby calls a halt to it. She wants a home life and nearly convinces Rod to go to work when Sig arrives to take them to a new club called Scandals. Abby refuses to go, and Sig brings Rod home drunk. The next day, Abby goes to see Rod's father to ask him to give Rod a job and to stop paying him a monthly allowance. However, Deane is more concerned about his racehorses and absentmindedly gives Abby another check. Meanwhile, Rod awakes with a hangover, but when he sees Abby packing to leave him, he promises to go to work. Rod gets a job with his father's company as an accountant, but when he learns that his brother, Franklin, a vice-president, spends most of the day at the racetracks, Sig convinces him to go as well. After a month of lies, Steve Walsh, a nightclub owner whose affections Abby rejected previously, forces Rod to reveal his truancy. Abby leaves Rod and returns to singing, despite Deane's accusations that she is capitalizing on the newspapers' sensational coverage of the separation. Unlike his father, Rod does not blame Abby and decides to get a job, using the name Preston. Combing the classifieds, Rod is repeatedly rejected because of his lack of experience. Finally, Rod is given a position, and Steve arranges for he and Abby to meet. Rod shows Abby his paycheck and indicates he earned it for his own self-respect, and the couple is reunited.
Edward Le Saint
L. A. Shafer
Lombard at this time was having some difficulties with the brass at Paramount, her home studio. They had just placed her in a small role in The Eagle and the Hawk (1933), after which they tried to loan her to Fox for the minor film Jimmy and Sally (1933). Lombard was so mad she staged a walkout. Paramount then offered her a picture called Girl Without a Room (1933), a troubled production that was already on its second director. As Ed Sikov wrote in his book Screwball: "Carole wanted no part of Girl Without a Room but she also did not want to tangle with the Paramount front office, which had a way of penalizing her uncooperativeness... So Carole got dolled up in a smart new sports suit with a matching hat that left most of the blond locks exposed, and paid an impromptu call on Harry Cohn."
It worked. The Columbia boss was charmed by the beautiful blonde (she had done films for him before) and showed her a list of literary properties that he owned. Lombard scanned the list, recognized S.N. Behrman's Brief Moment as a recent, quality play, and asked about it. Cohn had purchased the play as a possible vehicle for the British actress Gertrude Lawrence, but it was not high-priority so he agreed to produce it for Lombard immediately. It's possible that Brief Moment might never have seen the light of day if not for Lombard's actions.
Audiences and critics were pleased with the result. The New York Times wrote, "It is definitely a tribute to the talents of Carole Lombard and Gene Raymond that Brief Moment possesses some vital spark that compels one's interest and attention. The plot may be hackneyed, but Miss Lombard and Mr. Raymond treat it as though it were entirely new. An audience cannot help being lured into a favorable reaction."
Director: David Burton
Screenplay: Brian Marlow; S.N. Behrman (play)
Cinematography: Ted Tetzlaff
Film Editing: Gene Havlick
Cast: Carole Lombard (Abby Fane), Gene Raymond (Rodney Deane), Donald Cook (Franklin Deane), Monroe Owsley (Harold Sigrift), Arthur Hohl (Steve Walsh), Irene Ware (Joan), Theresa Maxwell Conover (Mrs. Deane), Reginald Mason (Mr. Deane), Jameson Thomas (Count Armand), Florence Britton (Kay Deane), Herbert Evans (Alfred).
by Jeremy Arnold
New York Times notes that the film was a liberal adaptation of the play, especially for the character "Sig" who was portrayed on stage by Alexander Woollcott. While reviews credit Ms. Conover as Theresa Maxwell Conover, she is credited onscreen as Theresa Conover. Although the Variety review claims that the play was "apparently written to capitalize on the Libby Holman-Zachary Smith Reynolds II tragedy," the film has only a passing similarity to the details of the incident. For more information on the case, for M-G-M's 1935 film Reckless. Contemporary reviews credit Gene Havlick as the film editor and not Gene Milford who received onscreen credit.