24 December 2015 | bkoganbing
Not even part of it
All Of Me is a story of two couples, Fredric March and Miriam Hopkins and the second couple is George Raft and Helen Mack. I never thought I could say this in a review, but in a bad film George Raft and Helen Mack as the second couple actually gave better performances than the other two. March especially looked disinterested in the whole procedure.
Who could blame him really. The story is based on a play called Chrysalis that flopped on Broadway closing after 23 performances. In those days after the motion picture got a voice even flop plays could command a price as the studios cranked out more films than now. Occasionally some of those flops became great films. Not here though.
Chance placed March and Hopkins with Raft and Mack at a club where Mack stole Hopkins's purse. March is a college professor bored with his life who has taken student Hopkins on as a mistress. He wants to go west and build Boulder, later Hoover dam.
Next to his concerns they sound trivial as Raft and Mack from the lower classes just struggle to survive. She's pregnant in a home for wayward girls and he's on parole. Parole can be tougher than jail at times for some people and these two are barely surviving.
On the flimsiest of pretexts Hopkins who's a bored socialite take an interest in their problems. Of course helping Raft break jail after he's sent back for the purse theft is way too much. In fact quite unbelievable. Hopkins probably was as bored as March, but she carried through.
But in a bad film Raft and Mack have a certain appeal as the doomed lovers. Watching what happens to them I was thinking Uncas and the white Monroe girl captive who fall in love in The Last of The Mohicans. Possibly author Rose Porter of the original play used them as an inspiration.
Also interesting is Blanche Frederici as the blue nosed reformer of the home for wayward girls who has a mandatory reading of Little Women in order to inspire her charges to mend their evil ways. She was good and hard to believe people thought that way back then, but believe me they did.
On Broadway the parts that March and Raft play were done by Humphrey Bogart and Elisha Cook,Jr. Sam Spade and Wilmer. Back then Bogey still primarily on Broadway did not play gangster parts, that came with The Petrified Forest.
This film didn't do March or Hopkins any good. But both were doing other and better work and getting a lot of acclaim. All Of Me might have been a good piece of work for Raft and Mack as a melodrama about star crossed lovers had they concentrated exclusively on them.