This Modern Age (1931)

Genres - Drama, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Melodrama  |   Run Time - 76 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Hans J. Wollstein

Despite the fact that they were playing mother and daughter, someone at MGM apparently felt that Pauline Frederick and Joan Crawford resembled each other too much, and a decision was made to lighten Crawford's hair to an unbecoming honey-blonde. That, alas, is the most novel aspect of This Modern Age, which wasn't all that modern even in 1931. Miss Frederick gives her usual fine performance, even if the situation does invite rather broad histrionics, but she is not given all that many opportunities to shine. In one important confrontation with daughter Crawford, the veteran silent star was not awarded a single close-up. They talk a lot in This Modern Age, but no one says much of interest and Neil Hamilton, in a role rather obviously created for a Robert Montgomery or Lew Ayres, is deathly dull and not the kind a girl would pine over for long. Later in life, Crawford, according to one of her biographers, implored her fans to simply "forget This Modern Age."