Breakfast for Two
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Oscar, Golden Globe and Emmy-winner Barbara Stanwyck ("Double Indemnity") plays Valentine Ransome, a beautiful Texas heiress who finds herself competing with a gold digger for the love of a playboy. Herbert Marshall ("Trouble in Paradise") and Glenda Farrell ("The Talk of the Town") co-star in this enjoyable romantic-comedy.
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The movie is presented in Full Screen 4x3, 1.33:1. This is part of the Warner Brothers Archive Collection, which means it has no special features, and is for "play only" devices, not player/recorders. The picture quality is sharp, but not clean. The sound is acceptable but not as clear as others I have from this collection. If you really like the stars, this will be fun to own, but it is not one of the best for either of the stars. That being said, I do enjoy it and am happy to own it.
Mentioned in previous reviews that I'm now completely and totally enamored of her early romantic comedy work. And except for one large caveat, this is another terrific winner in that category. That caveat being her co-star, British actor Herbert Marshall. In another very similar movie, 'If You Could Only Cook', he essentially sank what could have been a romcom classic, simply by being miscast.
This is the exact same situation.
I don't fault Marshall per se. Not unlike today, during the 30's there was quite a bit of Anglophile infatuation, and he was often put into roles which weren't meant to be played by a stiff upper lip gentleman. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, but role appropriateness has to recognized in the same way I can't ever see Sylvester Stallone playing Hamlet or Michael Cera portraying a Navy SEAL. Not less talented, just inappropriate.
In 'Two' he portrays playboy Jonathan Blair, titular head of a global shipping company, but in name only. He leaves the actual day to day operations to the board of directors and shows up once a year to collect his annual payout. His life is about leisurely pursuits - chasing women, carousing the clubs, and having a good time. And his most recent nightly excursion and adventures has netted him quite the catch: Ms. Valentine Ransome, recent transplant from Texas.
Unbeknownst to Jonathan, she's the daughter to one of the largest black gold fortunes in the world. An additional fact he's unaware of: The women of the Lone Star state are like their men - cut to the chase and sharpened to a point. She's found her man. One night and Val has fallen in love. Jonathan's spirit, his comic sense and inner confidence literally sweeps her off her feet. There isn't going to be another for her, and all she has to do is land her catch.
Two things stand in her way. First, Jonathan's current girlfriend is a talentless, gold-digging, wannabe actress - she's in the relationship for the money and the money alone. Unfortunately, he hasn't a clue such creatures exist. Second, the company his family founded has for years been sliding down the path toward insolvency. The board of directors is now looking to sell so that they can divest themselves of their stock - basically allowing the sharks to come in and tear apart the company for the parts.
Having ignored the very foundation of who he is, as a businessman and man, Jonathan finally realizes what's at stake. Not just economic, but the peril to his very sense of self, of family pride and honor. His very essence is in danger of being lost because he let himself be distracted from the very aspect which anchored his soul - the pride of Blair Shipping.
Seeing "her man" broken and humbled to despair, Val is determined more than ever to put the fire back into his belly; to revive and rebuild that spirit she fell in love with the first night they met. She's going to reignite that spark - even if it means she has to become the focus of his hate.
Barbara once again showcases her incredible blend of cool simmering sexuality and coy playful kitten, with just a drop of sinister manipulation. My favorite recipe for women.
For fans of Stanwyck - this is extremely enjoyable. For everyone else - neatly amusing and fun.
Movie Note: If the sound of razor blades being scratched across plate glass hurts, moderate or turn off the audio during the hilarious first wedding scene.
after a night of PUB CRAWLING nearly broke Herbert Marshall has lovely (BARBARA STANWYCK) end up in his bed~ HE is sound asleep on the sofa and does not know WHO she is just that she brought him home. The fun here is the BUTLER (excellent ERIC BLORE)hiding how broke Blair (Marshall ) really is. Soon Valentine Ransome (Stanwycke) decides the down and out is worth saving and buys his nearly broke steam ship line. She tries to anger him into saving the company and taking an interest in her at the same time. BUT Blair is off to marry his chlorine bimbo steady CAROL for her money. The humor is good and the comedy laughs do not stop~ one of the BEST scenes is when BLAIR and Valentine put on Boxing gloves and have a very funny boxing match and everyone ends up with BLACK eyes. the laughs do not drag and the clever dialogue is excellent. Stanwyck shows she can handle comedy too and this is one of her most funny. I GIVE IT A SOLID 10 OUT OF 10 FOR HUMOR, ROMANCE, SILLY PLOT AND GREAT DIALOG~ AND EXCELLENT CHARACTERS INCLUDING ERIC BLORE THE BRITISH BUTLER WHO always gives a great performance~