What Every Woman Knows (1934)

Passed   |    |  Comedy

What Every Woman Knows (1934) Poster

The story takes place in Scotland, where plain Maggie Wylie's family, fearing she may become a spinster, finances young John Shand's studies in return for his agreement to marry her in five... See full summary »


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10 March 2005 | Doylenf
| Quaint but somewhat stifled by old-fashioned style...
HELEN HAYES indeed made a stage name for herself in this vehicle, but it's hard to see why in this film version of her stage success. BRIAN AHERNE does nicely as her somewhat stuffy husband, but all in all it's clearly aimed at pleasing the followers of Miss Hayes.

She photographs well as the supposedly plain heroine and her Scottish accent is never too jarring--and thankfully, she downplays a lot of her stage mannerisms with a style of acting more suited to the camera. But this tale of a little woman who is really the brains behind her non too bright politically minded husband, is a very modest effort from the pen of Sir James M. Barrie and there is no big payoff for anyone in the cast. Madge Evans has a rather thankless role as the other woman.

Donald Crisp and Lucille Watson have the most to do in supporting roles but have distinguished themselves elsewhere in better material.

Only interesting as an early Helen Hayes vehicle that seems more quaint than charming. As in most films of this period, there is almost no background music to give a lift to any of the stagebound scenes.

Trivia bit: Olivia de Havilland starred at the Westport Country Playhouse in this play--summer stock in 1946--and during the run of the play was married to first husband, writer Marcus Goodrich.

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