Review: ‘Idiot’s Delight’

Author Robert Sherwood, in preparing his own screenplay, deftly added an entertaining prolog establishing the early meeting and a one-night affair between Clark Gable and Norma Shearer in Omaha as small time vaudeville performers. This provides plenty of entertainment when the pair meet later in an Alpine hotel.

Author Robert Sherwood, in preparing his own screenplay, deftly added an entertaining prolog establishing the early meeting and a one-night affair between Clark Gable and Norma Shearer in Omaha as small time vaudeville performers. This provides plenty of entertainment when the pair meet later in an Alpine hotel.

Gable milks his role as the small-time vaude performer, and dominates the picture throughout. His cynical yet breezy manner is a new characterization. Shearer does nobly in a part which calls for two distinct characterizations, first as the vaude trouper and later impersonating a Russian aristocrat.

Anti-war angles of the play are considerably softened and made more palatable for the masses and the amount is not sufficient to offend. Brief appearance of Burgess Meredith as the war declaimer is brilliantly handled.

Idiot's Delight

Production

M-G-M. Director Clarence Brown; Producer Hunt Stromberg; Screenplay Robert E. Sherwood; Camera William Daniels; Editor Robert J. Kern; Music Herbert Stothart; Art Director Herbert Stothart

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1939. Running time: 100 MIN.

With

Norma Shearer Clark Gable Edward Arnold Joseph Schildkraut Burgess Meredith
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