Review: ‘Bachelor Father’

Marion Davies plays with debonair comedy with just the touch of being rowdy, and relieved at the other extreme with the merest suggestion of under-the-surface sentiment.

Marion Davies plays with debonair comedy with just the touch of being rowdy, and relieved at the other extreme with the merest suggestion of under-the-surface sentiment.

Story is pure comedy almost to the end, but late sequences weave in a neatly contrasting note of jaunty sentiment that gives the picture the touch of legit comedy drama.

Picture has a beautiful balance of pattern in the playing. C. Aubrey Smith, who created the part of the crusty British nobleman in the Belasco stage production [by Edward Childs Carpenter], is in the picture with a screen portrait that is a gem, while Ralph Forbes brings a suave gentility to the juvenile lead in admirable contrast to the flamboyant playing of the star.

Picture has a more spirited finish than the play, giving it the advantage of dramatic suspense that lasts right up to the final foot. The out-of-favor Davies has gone to the flying field desperately determined to make a transatlantic plane flight, while her lover speeds to the air field to prevent the gamble with death. Meanwhile the old peer remains at home, listening with anxiety to a radio broadcast of the take-off on the hop. Alternating shots of these three elements in the episode build the climax.

Bachelor Father

Production

M-G-M. Director Robert Z. Leonard; Screenplay Laurence E. Johnson; Camera Oliver T. Marsh; Editor Harry Reynolds

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1931. Running time: 84 MIN.

With

Marion Davies Ralph Forbes C. Aubrey Smith Ray Milland Guinn Williams David Torrence
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