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   NOTHING SACRED (1937) 

[Get the Poster]

CAST
Carole Lombard
Fredric March
Charles Winniger
Walter Connolly
Sig Ruman
Troy Brown Jr.

DIRECTED BY
William Wellman

PURCHASE


DVD




Time: 75 mins.
Rating: Not Rated
Genre: Comedy/Romance


Even in Hollywood's early heyday, Carole Lombard was one of the few leading ladies who was as funny as she was beautiful. I can't think of any other actress that could pull off her role here with as much humor, intelligence and pathos. She plays Hazel Flagg, a young woman supposedly suffering from a mortal illness who is saved from her boring small town existence by a newspaperman trying to redeem himself and his paper. To get his career out of the doghouse, Wally Cook (March) convinces his editor (Connolly) to give him one more chance to find a heartwarming true story that will grab the heart of every New Yorker and boost their circulation. He believes chronicling the final weeks of Hazel, showcasing her courage in the face of death, will be just the story he's been looking for. What she fails to tell him is that she's not really dying, that Dr. Enoch (Winniger) misdiagnosed her. Why spoil your first and only opportunity to live the high life in the Big Apple with the truth?

New York society opens their hearts to Hazel, shedding tear after tear for the brave, beautiful girl spending her last moments in their midst. The more time Wally spends with Hazel the more depressed he becomes. Partly because of the maudlin tributes everywhere they go, but mostly because he's fallen head over heels for the lively and lovely Hazel and he's going to miss her terribly when she's gone. Hazel's equally enamored with her charming protector, however, as the weeks tick by her secret begins to wear her down. If the public discovers she's not really dying, Wally's career and the reputation of the paper would be ruined for good. When she passes out from two much adoration (and champagne), the paper calls in the foremost medical authorities to check on her condition. Their findings set up a hilarious chain of events that sends the public into a tizzy and forces our happy couple to show their true feelings for each other from love to loathing. They, of course, eventually end up in each other's arms; however, not until they solve the problem of Hazel's perfect health.


"It's kind of startling to be brought to life twice and each time in Warsaw."

Though Wally is thrilled she's not going to die, at least not anytime soon, he's not about to be made a fool. Their bedroom duel – where he gets her all worked up so that she'll appear flushed and exhausted for the doctors, – is romantic, clever and absolutely hysterical. Never has a man punching a woman been so funny. Lombard is brilliant in this sequence, at the height of her comic powers and willing to do anything to get a laugh. She may get a sock in the jaw, but she serves out a few lumps to March as well. It's her vivacity and integrity that turns what could have been a maudlin affair into a smart, silly and romantic romp. Her sweet face and innocent demeanor keep the audience on Hazel's side, despite the fact that she's a total fraud. While the basic story is utterly ridiculous, the situations and dialogue are highly entertaining. This may not be Lombard's best, but it's still one to watch for those who are fans of her work. If you've never seen one of her pictures, NOTHING SACRED will give you a good idea of what you've been missing.



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