25 April 2020 | boblipton
Mary Loves John
"They say that movies should be more like life," says Myrna Loy in this movie. "I think life should be more like the movies." It's a sentiment every film buff can agree with. It's in a movie where Myrna Loy and Warner Baxter get married, even though it's apparent that Old Family Friend Ian Hunter loves her desperately. He takes up with Claire Trevor, who has a yen for Warner Baxter, only because he can't run away to join the French Foreign Legion -- it's a domestic drama in which Warner Baxter wants to make a lot of money in the Roaring Twenties, and cheats on Myrna occasionally, but they love each other nonetheless.
The movie makes an effort to tap into 1936's cynical nostalgia for the 1920s, with plenty of trappings of the era fading out as the story goes on into the modern age. At the start, with the wedding, the throuple are thrilled with pre-war champagne. Later, bartenders complain that with Repeal, they have to serve every mug. Baxter plays a small man trying to be big. It isn't quite his meat. The others are good, but in the end, it's a small story about small people. There is an actor, though, who rejoices in the name of Wedgewood Nowell, like the china you take out only for Christmas. He entered the movies in 1915, and appeared in almost 150 of them, often in uncredited roles. He also wrote the scores to some movies, and died in 1957, age 79.