review for Evelyn Prentice on AllMovie

Evelyn Prentice (1934)
by Craig Butler review

Although Evelyn Prentice is routinely found wanting when compared to the William Powell-Myrna Loy Thin Man, when taken on its own terms it's actually a fairly engaging and enjoyable movie. Oh, it definitely has problems, most of them involving the screenplay. For example, the plot is chock full of coincidences that erode the film's credibility, and it features one of the most outrageous and unbelievable courtroom scenes one will encounter in any film. Also, William Howard's direction, while efficient and acceptable, lacks the imaginative spark that could lift Evelyn over some of the higher hurdles it has to tackle. However, screenwriter Lenore J. Coffee has provided some very effective scenes and if her dialogue lacks the punch associated with the better Powell-Loy films, it still hits some interesting notes. Powell and Loy, of course, are the real reasons to watch, and they don't disappoint in the least. If their roles don't allow them to banter in quite the way one wishes, there's still plenty of chemistry, and Loy gets to display her considerable dramatic skills to a greater degree than is customary in their pairings. Rosalind Russell and Isabel Jewell also turn in good work, and Una Merkel is a delight throughout. Not great, Evelyn is still a good enough little flick to warrant viewing.