Wrote this years ago, posted it to the defunct group blog Milk Plus and the not-defunct website Blogcritics, still more or less agree with it (though it'd look a lot different if I wrote it today... funny how one's voice changes). Don't have much to add other than the new DVD/Blu-Ray combo from Vinegar Syndrome is a must-purchase. So happy to finally have a legit copy of this amazing film.
You ever see a film that makes you think,…
Wish Frederic March had been able to play this with a bit more gusto - there's upstanding and decent and there's drab, and March finds himself on the wrong side of that a bit too often. But fortunately, in the scenes where he's good (the fistfight, for instance), he's very good and his lesser moments dampen the bandsaw-fierce cynicism of Ben Hecht's script not a whit, nor does he counteract the crackling energy and intelligence of Carole Lombard.
Fuck yeah, Carole Lombard.
I will probably watch this film literally a couple thousand times before I die, and it will never stop putting my jaw on the floor. It's hilarious and astonishingly creative and, as I put it in a piece that I wrote for a friend, "The last image in the film is so potent an expression of desperate frustration in the face of helplessness that I got it tattooed on my right shoulder blade." 190-proof brilliance, this.
Also: I showed this…