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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Kept Husbands (1931)

A capricious and spoiled rich girl (Dorothy Mackaill) falls in love with an enterprising young man (Joel McCrea) who works at her father's steel factory. The difference in class and financial status doesn't deter her but after their marriage, he begins to resent her presumptions that he accept her lifestyle rather than the other way around. An early pre-code effort directed by Lloyd Bacon (42ND STREET), the film is interesting in its look at the class differences during the depression era America as well as the accepted role of males and females in a "traditional" marriage which is certainly different than today. It's not a heavily serious film on the subject and there's humor in the film but it's yet another film of the era where a strong and independent minded woman eventually subjugates herself to the man. Not that the husband isn't right in wanting to support his wife on his salary rather than her (or her father's) money but the film makes it so black and white. McCrea is immensely appealing (when wasn't he?) so a case for the husband is easily made. A trifle but enjoyable. With Ned Sparks, Mary Carr and Florence Roberts.

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