Review: ‘The Shining Hour’

The familiar theme of a widely-publicized nightclub showgirl who tosses over her career for a conservative blueblood, with later complications when his family resents her intrusion into their life, is an okay premise. But after sympathy is built up for the girl and her problems, she accepts the amorous advances of her brother-in-law, story goes haywire and winds up in unhappy status of too many heavies with no heroine.

The familiar theme of a widely-publicized nightclub showgirl who tosses over her career for a conservative blueblood, with later complications when his family resents her intrusion into their life, is an okay premise. But after sympathy is built up for the girl and her problems, she accepts the amorous advances of her brother-in-law, story goes haywire and winds up in unhappy status of too many heavies with no heroine.

Basic trouble with the production lies in confusing script [from a play by Keith Winter]. Story keeps on pretty well-defined track until the latter half, when it falls apart entirely.

Joan Crawford, as the showgirl, carries most of the footage. Fay Bainter, as the resentful sister-in-law, is handicapped by script and dialog. Margaret Sullavan shows to advantage in a few instances, while Melvyn Douglas is rather smug and conservative as the husband. More zing in the romancing of Robert Young with Crawford would have generated some interest in rather dull passages.

The Shining Hour

Production

M-G-M. Director Frank Borzage; Producer Joseph L. Mankiewicz; Screenplay Jane Murfin, Ogden Nash; Camera George Folsey; Editor Frank E. Hull; Music Franz Waxman; Art Director Cedric Gibbons, Paul Groesse

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1938. Running time: 75 MIN.

With

Joan Crawford Margaret Sullavan Robert Young Melvyn Douglas Fay Bainter Allyn Joslyn

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