review for Skyscraper Souls on AllMovie

Skyscraper Souls (1932)
by Hans J. Wollstein review

Glacial Verree Teasdale finally gets her comeuppance in Skyscraper Souls but, for once, doesn't necessarily deserve her tragic fate. Ever the clotheshorse, Teasdale remains the best thing about this financial melodrama but there are also good performances from the devilishly suave Warren William, bright-eyed ingénue Maureen O'Sullivan ("I never had champagne before -- ooh, the bubbles ran up my nose!") and the usually neglected Anita Page. The latter at one point admits to belonging to a "very old profession," a blunt pre-production code statement that is more mindful of devil-may-care Warner Bros. than posh Metro. And it's worth noting that Skyscraper Souls also contains one shot -- a brief, complex set-up involving a character in the foreground who witnesses a silent, chilling event deep in the background, out of sight of the people she is with but well within our line of sight -- that is one of the most quietly terrifying scenes that one will see in a non-horror film of this era. While no Grand Hotel (and certainly no Dinner at Eight), Skyscraper Souls makes for an entertaining piece of depression era entertainment.