Merrily We Go to Hell

1932

Action / Comedy / Drama / Romance

2
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 61%
IMDb Rating 6.8 10 1084

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
May 10, 2021 at 09:41 PM

Director

Cast

Cary Grant as Charlie Baxter
Fredric March as Jerry Corbett
Theresa Harris as Powder Room Attendant
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
757.94 MB
988*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 23 min
P/S 2 / 4
1.38 GB
1472*1072
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 23 min
P/S 0 / 7

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by AlsExGal 6 / 10

Good performances wasted on a rather ordinary script

Everybody here is terrific, and Paramount brought out its A-list stars for the leads, Sylvia Sidney as heiress Joan Prentice and Fredric March as aspiring playwright Jerry Corbett. They are a young couple who marry in spite of the fact that Jerry is an alcoholic who is still stuck on a past heartbreak, stage actress Claire Hempstead.

The plot treads a conventional path full of precode tropes - infidelity, drunkenness, open marriage, the inconvenient pregnancy, and the wealthy family of one spouse distrusting the not so wealthy other spouse and his motives. But yet it is interesting because of several - "Wow did they do that back then?" moments.

For example - Jerry works at a newspaper. When somebody makes an insulting remark about his upcoming wedding, Jerry punches him in the throat. And yet nobody gets fired or arrested. Prohibition is still in force, and everybody drinks everywhere. Nobody even bothers with the discretion of a flask. There is booze at private parties, booze in public places, booze everywhere. When a turkey gets accidentally dropped on the floor, the alternative is... canned chicken??? Ugh. I would think the couple didn't want to have me over for dinner in the first place. Then there is Jerry's hit play up in lights - "When Women Say No - a satirical comedy". Yikes!

Need I mention that the art design and Sylvia Sidney's fashions are gorgeous. With Skeets Gallagher as Jerry's best friend, the great Esther Howard who seems to be in some kind of relationship with Skeets' character and had a marriage end because of her former husband's drinking - she's always memorable, and Cary Grant as one of Joan's extramarital escorts with what seems to be his original nose.

Reviewed by evanston_dad 8 / 10

Alcohol-Soaked Pre-Code Film Is a Very Good One

A wonderful and unsettling pre-Code film about an alcoholic playboy (Fredric March) who marries a sweet young thing (Sylvia Sidney) and proceeds to drag her down his path of dissolution. The depiction of their marriage is quite shocking, even by today's standards -- not only do they have an "open" marriage, they openly practice that freedom in front of their friends, suggesting a swinging lifestyle that wouldn't become approachable as subject matter in films for another 30+ years. March and Sidney give fantastic performances, and Dorothy Arzner, one of the rare women directors of the time, takes a matter of fact approach that leaves behind the melodrama and sentimentality that might have blunted this same story's impact in the hands of someone else.

One of the most refreshing aspects of "Merrily We Go to Hell," and one of the most shocking, is that Sidney's character does not suffer nobly while we wait for March to see the error of his ways and come back to her a chastened man. Instead, Sidney starts to behave just like him, coming within a stone's throw of alcoholism herself, and doing her own share of philandering. In that way, the film is even a little progressive in its equal treatment of the genders, even if that equality is the equality of debauchery.

Grade: A

Reviewed by lugonian 7 / 10

I Jerry, Take Thee, Joan

***SPOILERS*** ***SPOILERS*** MERRILY WE GO TO HELL (Paramount, 1932), directed by Dorothy Arzner, is not a horror movie about Satan worshipers who hold Black Masses in Transylvania, as the title may indicate. It's is a story about an heiress names Joan Prentiss (Sylvia Sidney) who meets Jerry Corbett (Fredric March), a drunken newspaperman, on the rooftop during a party. Jerry's ambition is to become a successful playwright. Within a short time he falls in love with Joan, but Joan's father (George Irving) disapproves of Jerry because of his careless ways. He offers to buy Jerry out of marrying his daughter, but refuses to accept the $50,000. Quite happy that Jerry's sole interest is in his daughter, he gleefully approves of the upcoming marriage. During the wedding ceremony, Jerry, somewhat drunk, forgets the wedding ring and finds himself in an embarrassing situation by placing a beer tap on Joan's finger. Time passes. Jerry writes the comedy play, "When Women Say No," and it gets produced. The leading lady turns out to be Claire Hempstead (Adrienne Ames), Jerry's former girlfriend. While the play proves successful, Jerry's married life is not, especially when Joan finds he's spending more time with Claire as well with the booze. Not wanting to be an old-fashioned wife, Joan decides not to let this bother her by dating Charlie Baxter (Cary Grant), the leading man of the play, to society functions. Disgusted, Joan finally does leaves Jerry without telling him she's pregnant with his child. Old Man Prentiss tries his best to keep Jerry from visiting Joan in the hospital, where she's in danger of possibly losing either her life or baby.

The title, MERRILY WE GO TO HELL, happens to be the catch phrase used by March several times in the story before taking a drink. The movie in itself is forgotten with a familiar plot quite common during the Depression era. Film titles using "Hell" in it were also quite common practice during that time, until the production code people stepped in and put a stop to that, for the time being anyway. This romancer may be of some interest to film buffs today, especially seeing it being an early screen appearance by Cary Grant, in his third featured role. He is first seen (in long shot) wearing period costume and wig in Jerry's stage play opposite Adrienne Ames, and later at a social function in dinner clothes after the play's opening, before his character disappears. Sylvia Sidney does what she does best playing a long suffering girl, a kind of role she played from time to time, possibly because of her sweet and tender face. Before the end of 1932, Grant would elevate to becoming Sidney's co-star in one of her most tender movie roles, MADAME BUTTERFLY.

Also featured the cast of MERRILY WE GO TO HELL is Richard "Skeets" Gallagher as Buck, Jerry's reporter friend with a talent for tap-dancing, adding some amusing support during the film's serious moments; Kent Taylor as Gregory; and Florence Britton as Charlcie. Background music score includes "What a Little Thing Like a Wedding Ring Can Do" and "We Will Always Be Sweethearts," songs introduced in Paramount's 1932 musical hit, ONE HOUR WITH YOU starring Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald.

In spite of good actors rising above somewhat average script, it's worth seeing as a curiosity on DVD (double featured with 1931's THE CHEAT), and on Turner Classic Movies (TCM premiere: September 1, 2020). If the story may not be an attention grabber, the title definitely is. (**)

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