Nothing Sacred (William A Wellman, 1937)

I’m returning to the director whose career I’ve been intermittently following on this blog, William A Wellman – and to another famous  movie, which has a lot in common with its predecessor, A Star Is Bornthough this time the emphasis is on satirical screwball comedy rather than tragedy.  Nothing Sacred stars Carole Lombard as  Hazel Flagg, a lively young woman fed up with her monotonous small-town existence. She  is wrongly diagnosed as dying from radium poisoning, and brought to the big city by New York newspaper reporter Wally Cook (Fredric March) for a final fling. But just how long can a final fling last?

To be honest, I don’t feel Nothing Sacred has worn quite as well as A Star Is Born, but the problem may simply be that I had already seen it a couple of times in the past and watched it again this time on the back of repeat viewings of Small Town Girl and A Star Is Born – plus other directors’ versions of the Star Is Born story. So it’s likely that I had slightly overdosed on portrayals of women desperate to escape from small towns by the time I got to this one. Also I think Wellman’s melodrama often grabs me more than his comedy. Anyway, this celebrated movie is definitely worth seeing and is a must for Carole Lombard fans, as she gives a sparkling performance.

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