Cocktail Hour (1933)

Genres - Drama  |   Run Time - 73 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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This melodrama, with a few comic overtones, was not the finest moment for either star Bebe Daniels or director Victor Schertzinger (who also composed the music and songs). It also hasn't weathered the years well, since its male chauvinism has fallen way out of favor. In fact, to modern eyes, Randolph Scott's character, Randolph Morgan, seems like an insufferable prig when he constantly lectures his artist girlfriend Cynthia Warren (Daniels) that "you can't change the rules" -- in other words, women were meant for marriage and child-rearing, not successful careers. Whereas viewers of the day may have wondered how Daniels could have fallen for the womanizing Lawton (Sidney Blackmer, who, looks-wise, was definitely a comedown from Scott), modern audiences tend to hope she'll dump her stuffy boyfriend, whom she's left back home while she goes on an ocean voyage. But there was no women's lib in 1933, and you know that Daniels' shipboard affair is going to end badly, and that she will throw everything away to return to the maddeningly arrogant Scott. The brightest spots in the film are offered by Muriel Kirkland, as a phony Russian countess who really hails from Kansas, and her eccentric companion, Alvarez (George Nardelli). Kirkland's worldly wise persona is a lot more interesting than the character that is handed to Daniels, which is bland in spite of her go-rounds with Scott. This picture was based on the story Pearls and Emeralds by James K. McGuinness.

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Keywords

artist, purity, sexual-awakening, stranger, virgin