13 November 2006 | blanche-2
another WWI love triangle
Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Anthony Bushell are the Prescott brothers in 1931's "Chances," and both are in love with the same woman, Molly (Rose Hobart). The two brothers go off to war while Molly does her part in the effort, Tom (Bushell) believing that Rose is waiting for him, while in fact, she loves Jack (Fairbanks Jr.) and only turned to Tom on the rebound. Jack and Molly meet while he is on leave, and when he returns to battle, he doesn't know how to handle the situation with his brother.
This is a very dated film done in that weird time that was the transition between silent and sound. This makes the dialogue pacing off and the film seem mannered and stagy. It's by no means a heavy look at war as some of the films made around the same time were, but rather focuses on the brothers' relationship and their mutual love for one woman. Fairbanks Jr. emerges as the best actor, giving a solid performance. Hobart is very serious and kind of boring, and Bushell is good-looking but callow. It's all very stiff upper lip and pip-pip.
"Chances" is a dark-looking film with some well-done battle scenes. One interesting bit of trivia about the cast is that all three leads lived to be 90 and above. One wonders if in later years, they even remembered this early effort.