This month, Clark Gable is a rogue newspaperman (again) and Constance Bennett is a snooty socialite in After Office Hours.
Clark is fast-talking, take-no-prisoners-newspaper editor Jim Branch, who is determined to dig up a juicy story on a corrupt millionaire. He starts sucking up to the newspaper’s music reviewer, wealthy socialite Sharon Norwood (Bennett), when he discovers she is close to the impending story. After the millionaire’s wife turns up dead, Sharon and Jim disagree on the culprit. Jim becomes determined to crack the case and reunite with Sharon, whom he has now fallen in love with.
The plot is silly. The rogue newspaperman falling for the snooty rich girl was done far, far better in It Happened One Night. And I don’t particularly like Clark’s look in this film. Half the time his hat is too small and he is in the phase of that really thin, perfectly groomed little mustache that didn’t become him at all.
Here, it is a bit unbelievable that Clark would fall for Connie. It’s one of those “one minute he hates her, one minute he’s proposing” pictures with no real development. And they get married at the end, when just moments before she was mad at him.
Sorry Clark and Connie, but William Powell and Myrna Loy are far better sleuths at murder mysteries! This one seems like a hackneyed, quickie attempt at a Thin Man ripoff. Pretty laughable is a scene the morning after the murder in which Clark and a newspaper photographer easily get into the scene of the crime and walk around the crime scene! How ridiculous.
Clark does a fine role, but it’s one he’s done before. I don’t think that Connie is one of his better leading ladies. I have never been a very big fan of hers–I just always find her cold. Here it is no different; I wonder if I would like the plot better if Myrna Loy or Jean Harlow were in her part. Maybe.
Always enjoyable is twittering Billie Burke, who is at her flouncing best as Connie’s mother.
Particularly in the last scene, where is is appalled that Clark seems to have spent the night in her daughter’s bedroom! The very idea!
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