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Animal Kingdom [VHS] (1932)

Myrna Loy , Leslie Howard , Edward Griffith  |  NR |  VHS Tape
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Myrna Loy, Leslie Howard, Ann Harding
  • Directors: Edward Griffith
  • Format: Black & White, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Timeless Multimedia
  • VHS Release Date: December 1, 1994
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6303308252
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #910,480 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews


Though a bit stodgy, this 1932 film adaptation of a Philip Barry play features the star of the original Broadway production: Leslie Howard. While Barry had later, greater successes with film versions of his plays Holiday and The Philadelphia Story, The Animal Kingdom is something of a blueprint for those better-known comedies. Howard plays book publisher Tom Collier, a bohemian at heart and an enthusiast for great literature and artistic integrity. His lover, Daisy Sage (Ann Harding), is an equally open-minded artist. But while she's off in Paris, Tom considers making a show of respectability, and marries socialite Cee Henry (Myrna Loy), who intends to groom Tom for polite society. Cee's ambition and Tom's conflicts set the stage for one of Barry's comedies of manners, as desire and responsibility square off. Unimaginatively directed by Edward H. Griffith, the production is anchored to its stage-bound origins, but Barry's dialogue and the charming performances make it all worthwhile. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Back when talkies had dialogue... January 1, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
Nice one. Leslie Howard is a lot more interesting in this than he ever was as Ashley Wilkes. Perenially sympathetic Myrna Loy is sexy and not so nice. Ann Harding and William Gargan are quite solid. The dialogue is snappy and great. The acting is first rate. The conflict itself doesn't have so much merit. This is rather a shallow and quickly told story about a man choosing depth over surface. But still the movie is a lot more vibrant than some of today's fare, at once a little bit thoughtful and entertaining.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT!! August 20, 2002
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
In my opinion, a great film adaptation of Philip Barry's Play, with a luminous performance by grand actress, Ann Harding; Myrna Loy is excellent too, as Leslie Howard's alluring, sensual and manipulative wife; Leslie Howard's good as usual, and all of them get fine support from Neil Hamilton, Ilka Chase, Henry Stephenson, and especially, William Gargan, who is hilarious as a joke of a butler! (he's an ex-fighter). Perhaps it may be regarded as kind of talky and stagy by today's standards, but anyway it's pretty adult stuff with great dialogues and subtleties, and a great example of what could be done with a fine script and cast, before the Production Code was fully enforced in 1934.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional Print. August 22, 2006
The Alpha Version of this Historic film, the first shown on the opening night of Radio City Music Hall, is exceptional, and the best Alpha print I have ever seen. This is also a smart, intelligent film. More prints like this one and Millie could give Alpha a better reputation than it currently has.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The Animal Kingdom sports some mighty terrific acting by a wonderful cast. The plot of this pre-code drama moves along at a very good pace; it could have been edited just a little but this is very minor. The cinematography is very well done throughout the film; and the choreography works best in crowded scenes including the surprise birthday party. There are two very minor disappointments: The quality of the print could have been a little bit better; and once or twice there was the very obvious and distinctly different noises of the two cameras that were rolling when a scene involved two people talking.

When the action starts, we quickly meet the somewhat bohemian Tom Collier (Leslie Howard) who happily owns and runs The Bantam Press, a small independent publishing company. He lives with his girlfriend Daisy Sage (Ann Harding); Tom and Daisy snub the conventional wisdom of the time that a man and a woman had to be married before they could live together. Tom's father Rufus Collier (Henry Stephenson) has nothing but disdain for Tom's lifestyle; but it is the pretty society girl Cecilia "Cee" Henry (Myrna Loy) who steals Tom from Daisy when Daisy is away for a while. In fact, as the picture begins, Daisy is sailing into New York harbor that night only to find out that Tom, who she still thinks is her man, will be marrying "Cee" very soon.

Daisy certainly does take it very badly, although she admits along with Tom that they never had any real strings attached to their relationship. Tom still wants to be friends with Daisy and see her from time to time; but Daisy angrily refuses and Tom leaves without even taking his belongings. After Tom marries "Cee," he never sees his old friends anymore; his quirky butler and friend "Red" Regan (William Gargan) stays on--but only for a while.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars SOLID EARLY TALKIE. September 5, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Philip Barry's very successful stage play was the basis for this well-acted romantic vehicle which should still appeal to the sophisticated and intellectual. Howard plays a rich publisher who leaves his artist-mistress to marry socially active Loy, only to discover that the security of married life doesn't exist: his wife turns out to be a Lorelei who's encouraging an affair with another man (Hamilton)... In an ironic and interesting contrast, Loy acts more like his mistress and Harding is more wife-like. Howard's acting expertise is shown to advantage here, he being caught in a classic triangle and eventually realising just how essentially shallow Loy really is and what a prize he had in Harding. Ann Harding gives her usual sensitively sincere performance and although Myrna Loy was not yet considered star material when she was given the role of Cecilia, she clearly gives a masterful portrayal of the flirtatious vixen. There is a splendidly amusing performance given by William Gargan as Regan the butler: at a party, he pours himself drinks and oafishly makes himself at home, acting as if he belonged among the elite company. It is, however, Howard who carries the film: he was the epitome of the sensitive gentleman in films such as this in the decade of the 1930's.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Acting September 14, 2006
The Animal Kingdom features one of the more shocking elements of the pre-code era. It revolves around a man, his former mistress, and his current wife. Leslie Howard plays Tom Collier, a wealthy man whose family wishes he would settle down and be more dignified. He does so with Cecilia (Myrna Loy), a somewhat haughty, controlling woman from high society. However, in order to make his marriage work, his mistress Daisy (Ann Harding) breaks ties with him. He is hurt by the separation and begins to pursue her without realizing his true feelings for her.

The relationships between the characters are very believable and engrossing. It helps that the stars are phenomenal actors. Howard is particularly wonderful. His acting is subtle but charming, intelligent, and powerful. Everything he says seems important and thoughtful, even if he's delivering a casual response. Harding complements him well. Although some of her gestures seem very overt and stereotypical, it is difficult not to believe them to be true. She is entirely genuine and agreeable.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars "A foolish virgin me... Wellll...foolish, anyway."
THE ANIMAL KINGDOM (1932) is a pre-Code RKO dramedy produced by David O. Selznick and adapted from a Philip Barry stageplay. It stars Ann Harding, Leslie Howard and Myrna Loy. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Annie Van Auken
4.0 out of 5 stars dvd rating
The DVD arrived promptly and was in great shape. I have not watched it yet, but I am confident it will be a good viewing.
Published 10 months ago by Patricia R VanBussum
2.0 out of 5 stars Very uninspiring
Even with such notable stars as Ann Harding, Leslie Howard, and Myrna Loy, this film was unimpressive... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Carole Stewart
1.0 out of 5 stars BAD QUALITY COPY!
VERY BAD QUALITY copy, by Alpha Video of this wonderful movie. Alpha Video should have made it clear that the buyer would have to accept the poor condition issues, to enjoy this... Read more
Published on February 16, 2012 by Range GIrl
5.0 out of 5 stars A sophisticated Pre-Code romance
The Animal Kingdom is an intelligent and witty film about the complexities of human relationships, written by famous playwrite Philip Barry, who also wrote personal favorites... Read more
Published on February 16, 2012 by J. F. McCausland
1.0 out of 5 stars Shovel needed!! Great pile of animal poop!!!
THE ANIMAL KINGDOM (1932) Directed by Edward Griffith and George Cukor. Based on the play by Philip Barry. Score by Max Steiner. Produced by David O Selznick. Read more
Published on November 19, 2011 by The Mysterious Traveler
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, adult entertainment.
While it seems a bit high-brow, the actors do an excellent job, and the ladies costumes alone make it worth watching. Good, adult entertainment.
Published on October 21, 2010 by eswan
5.0 out of 5 stars Harding and Her Favorite Co-Star Shine
In the biography, "Ann Harding - Cinema's Gallant Lady" (2010) Harding raves about her talented co-star Leslie Howard: "What a craftsman! Read more
Published on July 29, 2010 by Harvey H.
2.0 out of 5 stars Great Story
...but viewing this DVD is horrible. I bought this with some trepidation since it an Alpha studio copy and they are not exactly known for their high quality transfers (IMO) but... Read more
Published on February 25, 2010 by R. Olson
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
The video was great and I will be doing business with this seller in the future.
Published on December 3, 2009 by Helen E. T. Smith
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