An explosion of big names: Lubitsch (just off Trouble In Paradise) and Ben Hecht (between Scarface and Twentieth Century) adapting playwright Noel Coward, starring a young Gary Cooper, the great Miriam Hopkins, and Fredric March (The Best Years of Our Lives). Not actually a pre-code movie, but I guess the code wasn’t too strict in its early days, because it certainly plays like one. So it’s a saucy, delightfully-written love-triangle movie – and I enjoyed it but didn’t love it, trying to remember the whole time where I read that quote saying the art of cinema died when sound was invented and movies became stagey dramas featuring actors standing around talking to each other.
Playwright March and painter George awaken in their train car to find beautiful advertising designer Miriam, who decides she likes them both and comes to live with them (all these aspiring American artists in Paris reminds one of An American In Paris). The arrangement stays semi-platonic until March gets a play produced and moves away, so now Miriam is with Gary. Then she ends up with March somehow, I forget, but at some point she leaves them both for dreary E. Everett Horton, then ends up in her March and Cooper threesome again at the end. It’s really a four-person movie – fifth-billed is Preston Sturges regular Franklin Pangborn, who only has a few lines as March’s producer.