The Toy Wife (1938)

Genres - Drama, Historical Film  |   Release Date - Jun 10, 1938 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Hans J. Wollstein

Luise Rainer, the Austrian actress who had just collected back-to-back Academy Awards for The Great Ziegfeld (1936) and The Good Earth (1937), is completely out to sea in this turgid melodrama which borrows heavily from both Camille (1937) and Zaza, two superior dramas also adapted for the screen by Zoe Akins. But although the years have not been kind to Rainer's kittenish acting style most of the blame for this failure belongs squarely to Akins, who should have known better than to leave Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halevy's 70-year-old stage play Frou Frou pretty much intact. With follow-ups such as The Toy Wife and Dramatic School, it is really not surprising that Luise Rainer's dual Oscars have been termed "jinxed."