Crazy Knitter Reviews

The place where this crazy knitter reviews books, TV, movies and recipes

Friday, December 29, 2006

Dinner at Eight (1933)

An excellent comedy with an all star cast. Milicent and Oliver Jordon (Billie Burke and Lionel Barrymore) are big players in their local social scene. They decide to have a dinner party with other local power players. Before the party a friend of Oliver's,Carlotta Vance (Marie Dressler), returns from Europe. Carlotta is a former film star whose fortune is running out. She comes to Oliver asking if it is ok for her to sell off some of her stock in his company. What Carlotta does not know is that Oliver's company is in the midst of a hostile takeover and he is also broke. Oliver decides to invite Dan Packard (Wallace Beery), a business man, and his wife Kitty (Jean Harlow) to dinner to help him with his issues. What he does not know is that Dan is the one trying to take over his company. Since Milicent knows nothing about their financial problems she is not thrilled about inviting the couple from Oklahoma but agrees. The Jordan's daughter, Paula (Madge Evans), is also hiding a secret. She is sleeping with a washed up actor Larry Renault (John Barrymore) who is several years older than she is. Of course Milicent invites Larry to the dinner party and he is decidedly nervous about meeting Paula's society parents. An interesting group of characters end up arriving for the party and they all seem to have something to hide. Will the dinner be a success or a major disaster?

This movie was very funny. The cast is one of the best ensembles I have ever seen on film. Jean Harlow steals the show as the mouthy Kitty Packard. Billie Burke is also wonderful as the harried Milicent Jordan. There was a TV movie version of this film made in 1989 starring Lauren Bacall as Carlotta Vance. However, the original is the best and a wonderful film for a lazy day in.



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