Five and Ten ★★½

Richard Bennett, the owner of a chain of five-and-ten cent stores, moves his family (Irene Rich, Marion Davies, and Douglass Montgomery) to New York. Bennett neglects his family as he relentlessly pursues his business affairs. His family is falling apart, wife Rich is about to leave him for another man, daughter Davies is unhappy over her failed love affair with Leslie Howard, and son Montgomery is drinking heavily and dangerously depressed. Where will it all end?

Financed by William Randolph Hearst, the films of Marion Davies had the highest levels of cast, crew, and technical support. Davies’ co-stars were the top male leads of the day, including Robert Montgomery (Blonde of the Follies (1932)), Bing Crosby (Going Hollywood (1933)), Gary Cooper (Operator 13 (1934)), and Clark Gable (Cain and Mabel (1936)). In this film, her co-star is handsome, polished Englishman Leslie Howard.

Unfortunately, the plots and dialogue of Davies’ films usually did not reach a high level of quality. The melodramatic plot of Five and Ten is unimaginative, tedious, and maudlin.