The Last of Mrs Cheyney is a a Metro remake of its own dialog film made in 1929 with Norma Shearer. it’s from the [Frederick] Lonsdale play which Ina Claire, Roland Young and A.E. Matthews first did on Broadway in 1925. Present filmization more nearly approximates a picture than the 1929 film which was, then, more a straight transmutation of the play in celluloid form.
This is Richard Boleslawski’s post-mortem release. Another director wound up the perfunctory details, but Boleslawski gets, and merits, the sole directorial billing. His hand is evident in a number of fine scenes, pacing this society crook comedy-drama with effective contrasts of suspense and laughs.
Scenes which are outstanding are made so by a rare combination of pace, scripting and direction. The sequence, for example, where the snooty English household is wondering what will happen to the crooks (Joan Crawford and her accomplice, William Powell) is a double-broadside in deft comedy painting.
In similar vein, the weekenders’ truth-game less pointedly, but not too subtly, mirrors the foibles of the same group – the two-timing wife who has had 14 ‘cousins’ (male) for constant companionship; her stupid husband; another lady of easy virtue; the engagingly lecherous male (Robert Montgomery), but frankly so: the duchess-hotesss (capably played by Jessie Ralph), who confesses she came into royalty via the London Gayety chorus-line, etc.