Nothing Sacred (1937)

Free Great Movies Review

  •  (3.5 out of 5 stars)

Frederic March plays New York City newspaperman Wally Cook. After botching a story about an African prince, he’s delegated to the water cooler room to write obituaries. He convinces the newspaper editor Oliver Stone (Walter Connolly) that he’s got a hot story about a small-town girl in Vermont who’s dying of radium poisoning. He heads to the fictional town of Warsaw, Vermont, to find the girl named Hazel Flagg (played by Carole Lombard). Hazel’s amateur doctor Enoch Downer (Charles Winninger), tells her she doesn’t even have radium poisoning, and she’s not dying. Hazel meets reporter Wally and is instantly enamored with him. When he promises a plane flight to New York City to write articles about her, Hazel jumps at the chance, failing to tell him that she’s not dying. Wally begins writing headline newspaper stories about the poor, dying Hazel, and she instantly becomes the toast of the town. As Hazel struggles to keep her good health a secret, the gags build up, and she falls in love with Wally. Everyone is conning everyone thanks to a constantly amusing script by Ben Hecht (who also scribed classic early talkies like The Front Page (1931) and Scarface (1932)). March and Lombard are ideally cast. The Technicolor direction by William A. Wellman is passable, but the script is the real star. Hecht satirizes a time when newspapers were king, and the right story could sway all of New York City, whether it was true or not.

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Copyright Info: This movie is in the public domain and is legally available for free on YouTube.

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