johnlink ranks TWO AGAINST THE WORLD (1932)

Apparently Constance Bennett was a name in 1932. Perhaps I am a poor film scholar, but I had no idea who she was before seeing this film. TWO AGAINST THE WORLD is a little movie about budding love and murder, and how those two things can get in each other’s way.

I watched TWO AGAINST THE WORLD (1932) on 11.17.12. It was my first viewing of the film.

Dell (Bennett) is a young woman from a rich family with little care for the real world. She likes to drink, she doesn’t think driving laws apply to her, and she pursues men she desires. Her family is being sued because some unimportant man had the audacity to die on their property. She doesn’t really concern herself with such trifles.

The man representing the family is Dave Norton (Neil Hamilton, who would go on to play Commissioner Gordon in the Adam West Batman series). He is a charming  young lawyer, and he hits it off with Dell right away. They start a romance which is interrupted by a murder.

The movie is fun enough. Hamilton and Bennett have great chemistry, and their scenes are a ton of fun. I wish the movie was just the two of them going after each other. Instead, some drama gets in the way.

Unfortunately, that drama is horrendously written. Dell ends up on the stand to testify regarding the murder. She lies horrendously, and has apparently never thought she might be asked the most basic of follow-up questions. For a smart and quick-witted woman, she has no ability to think on her feet at the most vital moment. Instead of being a character trait, this is just poor writing.

This film has some of the worst morality I’ve ever seen. Murder is okay if it is because your sister might have slept with someone. Lying on the stand is okay if you pout afterwards. Throwing a murder case is fine if you love the suspect. It’s all just so lightly considered. This would be forgivable if it was just a silly comedy, but the last act wants to be heavy. It just feels all wrong.

I really wish this movie was just Bennett and Hamilton. I would certainly watch them again; both are solid leads. I would just hope to find them in a better film. TWO AGAINST THE WORLD is disjointed and unsuccessful. Again, had they stuck with the comedy, the movie would have been fine. Instead, it is a mildly entertaining throw away which I am not surprised to find that history has forgotten. If you’re a 30s film buff, its worth a watch. If not, go find THE THIN MAN instead.





~ by johnlink00 on November 17, 2012.

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