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  • This is a very ordinary precode involving the wealthy Thomases. The parents (Lewis Stone and Laura Hope Crews) are worried about their two grown children. Son Ralph (Robert Young) as well as daughter Phyl (Margaret Perry) are taken to partying every night and sleeping until noon. Ralph's individual demon is that he fancies himself more than a designer of wallpaper at the family business - he wants to go to France and become a great artist. Phyl's problem is that she is in love with a married man (David Newell as Duf) whose wife won't let him go. Both kids wind up doing what they want to do in spite of their parents' objections. Ralph does go to France to study art. Phyl sets up house with Duf with no hope of marriage in sight. So far this is an extraordinarily ordinary precode. So what makes it worthwhile? For one, one kid winds up with their hopes dashed the other gets their wish. Which one triumphs and which one does not and how this happens is the unexpected part. Also very interesting is a tryst Ralph has with a French neighbor when he is in Paris. That neighbor happens to be played by Myrna Loy and the nature of the tryst is what is so unexpected. In one scene she is complaining about the noise Ralph is making. In the next scene it is the next morning and she and Ralph are bouncing around in their pajamas! What's more we never see the French girl again in Ralph's life. How realistic that not every sexual encounter leads to either tragedy or the altar, which is something that would never be allowed in the production code era.

    The ending is warm although abrupt as the kids grow a few years older and seem to be gradually becoming their parents. Plus both kids grow a genuine appreciation for Aunty Doe (Elizabeth Patterson), someone they ridiculed just a few years before as silly and out of touch.

    This one is an OK time passer, but there really is nothing out of the ordinary to distinguish it from other precodes of the era other than the chance to see two stars just starting out - Myrna Loy and Robert Young - and one star of the stage making a rare film appearance - Margaret Perry.
  • Though hardly an example of pre-Code films at their raciest, the matter-of-fact treatment of looser sexual mores in this family drama may reveal more about its times than a more exploitative film would. A few years later Lewis Stone, the father here, would play the father of the most straightlaced and retrograde family in movie history (Andy Hardy's); yet here he is shown as accepting the idea that his son would go off to Paris to be an artist (and be shown breakfasting the next morning with his female neighbor, in pajamas) and that his daughter would have an affair with a married man, musing to his wife that they just have to get used to the different morals of different times. No masterpiece, but a sweet and enjoyable film that may remind you of James Ivory's Mr. and Mrs. Bridge.
  • For a while this excellent, still moving and relevant antique seems to be a precursor to the notion of the Generation Gap. The parents did it one way. The children do it another.

    But it is racy and, though contrived and melodramatic, fascinating.

    It is also the single most appealing performance by Robert Young I've ever seen. He did pot have the self-satisfied smirk of several decades of later work. He is very plausible. My second-favorite of his movies is the charming "Lady Be Good," in which he truly seems to enjoy working with Ann Sothern.

    "New Morals" still has power and does not deserve its obscurity.
  • After watching "New Morals for Old", I was left wondering just what was the point of this movie. I really am not sure....and wonder if the writer was equally undecided!

    The film concerns a family of rich folks who seem to have way too much money and way too much time on their hands. Although the father (Lewis Stone) worked to make his fortune, his kids (Robert Young and Margaret Perry) seem like spoiled and rather amoral jerks. The son wants to run off to Paris to become a painter and the daughter wants to sleep with a married man. While the parents can't understand this sort of behavior, in this very permissive family, they really don't say much of anything about this. Eventually, the father dies and the son finally takes off to paint. And,...well, there really isn't much more to the film.

    The film MIGHT be saying that a new, selfish and permissive age is coming or it might have tried saying that the parents were just old fashioned and behind the times--but I can't be sure. The movie seemed to take an amoral approach--showing the kids' behaviors in a very direct and non-judgmental manner. Well, I might have felt that was okay for the son but the film had a definite Pre-Code attitude about adultery, that's for sure. The bottom line is that I objected far less to the kids' actions and more that there was no sort of point to any of this...none.
  • dbdumonteil12 August 2011
    The generation gap in 1932.Two retired people see their children (a boy and a girl) turn their back on mom's nice rice pudding and want to marry a divorcée (the girl) and to go and study art in Paris (the boy).

    All in all ,neither the obsolete precepts of the old nor the modern way of life of the young are satisfying .Travel broadens the mind ,for sure,but when your talent is mediocre ,the best of art professors cannot do anything for you ,even if he teaches (or is supposed to) in French.And it's almost probable that the two rebels will become their parents without a sound.The last pictures glorify Family with a capital F.
  • Phyl and her brother Ralph's bedroom play is so 30s flirty;) The Paris goodbye kiss is so smoldering hot. Tennessee Williams would love this so forbidden sexiness. The screenplay was based on the play "After All" by John Van Druten, author of "I Am A Camera" which was the basis of the musical "Cabaret". (I wonder what was left on the editing room floor.) What happened with Myra? There so many unanswered questions raised that it is not truly as predictable as it seems. All in all I consider it more of naughty tease. I was glad I could fast forward what was most totally predictable...and enjoy the fun of the queerness of it "After All".
  • Parents will have a tough time getting through New Morals for Old without staining a Kleenex or two with tears. The entire point of the film is that children never listen to their parents, even though their lessons are wise and worthy, and after they've seen a bit of life, they realize that their parents were right all along. If you hate your parents and don't want to eventually eat crow, you're not going to want to watch Robert Young and Margaret Perry do it in the movie. Watch something else tonight.

    Margaret Perry is absolutely adorable, and even though she falls in love with a married man, David Newell, and becomes his mistress in a love nest, you can't help but love her. This was her first of two total films, and I have no idea why she didn't rocket to stardom. Not only is she cute to look at, but she has talent! In the movie, she really does feel bad about causing a rift in her family. She collapses in tears in her father Lewis Stone's lap when she tells him how she's living. Mother Laura Hope Crews won't receive David in the house and has a very strained relationship with her daughter forever after. Meanwhile, playboy Robert Young refuses to settle down and get a respectable job. He travels to Paris to become an artist and shacks up with the morally loose Myrna Loy.

    If you like the message, this movie is worth watching. The acting is very good, and there are some pre-Code aspects that are sure to evoke a giggle. When Robert studies art, he attends the classic class to draw nudes, and since this movie was made in 1932, the model is shown. Myrna's ten minutes on the screen are also very raunchy, and the script makes no secret to her type of relationship with Bob.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The twenty-something-year-old children in the Thomas family are quite spoiled. "Ralph" (Robert Young) wants to sleep late and go off to France to illustrate books. "Dad" (Lewis Stone) is hurt that he won't be working in the family business. And daughter "Phyl" (Margaret Perry) is going off with "friends" on the weekends. Laura Crews is Mom, playing the guilt card on both kids, even more-so when Dad dies. Mom has this strong, upper crust, almost British accent, which doesn't really fit in with the rest of the family. This is certainly a pre-code film, highlighting a couple different issues that would be magically wiped away in just a couple years. Phyl has fallen in love with a married man, whose wife won't give him a divorce, and Ralph FINALLY heads off to Paree. This was one of Young's very early credited roles. Myrna Loy is in here with a VERY brief role. Odd. Such a very serious, dramatic film. Good stuff. Only five stars on IMDb as of today, but that only reflects 151 votes so far. Aunty Doe, who they made fun of, earlier on, comes to the rescue at the very end, and saves the day. It's not so bad. LOTS of talking. A couple of very abrupt edits. Great quality sound and picture. Directed ;by Charles Brabin.... he only directed a couple more years after this.
  • utgard142 January 2014
    Boring old creaker about two terrible children (Robert Young, Margaret Perry) breaking their elderly parents' hearts. At least that's how I interpreted it. The point is a little muddled as it seems to be saying the younger generation has loose morals but the older is stuffy and old-fashioned. That the younger will eventually become the older and "rinse, lather, repeat" is the ultimate point, I suppose. Only worth seeing for early work by Young and Myrna Loy, as well as to see Judge Hardy with a son who doesn't listen to a word he says. Despite being pre-Code and having somewhat risqué subject manner, there's nothing here to get worked up over.
  • In 1958 C.S. Lewis published a book called Four Loves, taken from radio talks he had given previously. He treats four different kinds of love: affection, friendship, erotic love, and agape, the Christian love. In each section he talks about what that kind of love could be and what it looks like when it goes bad. There was so much in this movie that reminded me of the things he said about affection and family life when it goes bad, that I think he must have seen this movie and parts of it stuck in his head. Even some of the lines are the same. "Why are they always out? Why do they seem to prefer every house in the neighborhood to their own?" This is a glaring example of parents who seem to think that their adult offspring are duty-bound to stay with them and provide them with a life instead of going out and making their own lives. I kept wanting to say to the kids: "You two are adults. If you want to move out of the house, what's stopping you?" And to the parents: "You raised these two to be grownups and now they are. Accept it." I found it extremely unsatisfying.
  • Phyl and her brother Ralph's bedroom play is so 30s flirty;) The Paris goodbye kiss is so smoldering hot. Tennessee Williams would love this so forbidden sexiness. The screenplay was based on the play "After All" by John Van Druten, author of "I Am A Camera" which was the basis of the musical "Cabaret". (I wonder what was left on the editing room floor.) What happened with Myra? There so many unanswered questions raised that it is not truly as predictable as it seems. All in all I consider it more of naughty tease. I was glad I could fast forward what was most totally predictable...and enjoy the fun of the queerness of it "After All".