FORSAKING ALL OTHERS. MGM, 1934. Robert Montgomery, Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Charles Butterworth, Billie Burke, Rosalind Russell. Director: W.S. Van Dyke.

   I taped this by mistake. It was supposed to be some other Joan Crawford movie, but I watched it anyway. I’m not really a Joan Crawford fan, but this early in her career, I find her on-screen image much more pleasing than the hard-boiled one I picture her as in many of her later films. (In the early 30s she’s also lovelier to look at, if I might be permitted a small sexist remark.)

   I’m not usually a Clark Gable fan, either. He always seems a little slick for me. I wonder how women today feel about him, watching his old movies now. Ladies, tell me: Is he still the “dreamboat” he was back then?

   At any rate, this moderately entertaining love triangle amongst members of the champagne set – and note that Robert Montgomery makes up the third party in this regard – must have been the height of sophistication in its day. It still has its moments, but when it comes down to it, the immorality that’s briefly suggested stays firmly under the leash.

   Did I mention that this was a comedy? And as such, Charles Butterworth – totally forgotten today – seems to have gotten all of the funniest lines.

– Slightly revised from Mystery*File #32, July 1991.