Review: ‘His Brother’s Wife’

While the title telegraphs the plot [by George Averbach] W.S. Van Dyke, the director, has cannily paced his proceedings so that the suspense values aren't militated against too much. Perhaps that accounts for the somewhat anti-climatic moments in the unscreening, or maybe it's just that 91 minutes running time, because somehow there are lapses in the dramatic tension.

While the title telegraphs the plot [by George Averbach] W.S. Van Dyke, the director, has cannily paced his proceedings so that the suspense values aren’t militated against too much. Perhaps that accounts for the somewhat anti-climatic moments in the unscreening, or maybe it’s just that 91 minutes running time, because somehow there are lapses in the dramatic tension.

Story is ultra-1936, as modern as a Hollywood diary in spots, although this very sparkle and sophistication of dialog at times takes on a phoney gloss.

John Eldredge is oke as the straight-laced brother Tom who, after splitting Robert Taylor and Barbara Stanwyck, is tricked into a ‘revenge’ marriage (of the unkissed bride type) with Stanwyck, only later to facilitate a divorce. Joseph Calleia is a restrained but sinister menace and Jean Hersholt, per habit, rings the bell again with one of his kindly medico portrayals.

His Brother's Wife

Production

M-G-M. Dir W.S. Van Dyke; Producer Lawrence Weingarten; Screenplay Leon Gordon, John Meehan; Camera Oliver T. Marsh; Editor Conrad A. Nervig; Music Franz Waxman

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1936. Running time: 91 MIN.

With

Barbara Stanwyck Robert Taylor Jean Gersholt Joseph Calleia John Eldredge Samuel S. Hinds
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