Tuesday, December 24, 2013

This Modern Age (1931)




I love watching old films if you did not ever notice that pretty much all of the films I have written about are old. Since I began to like classic films six years ago I have seen all kinds. I have seen the big blockbusters from 1939, a whole bunch of the films listed on the American Film Institute’s list of greatest films, I have seen a handful of Hitchcock’s films, a whole bunch of Pre-Code films, silent comedies and dramas and almost every type of film from classic Hollywood with very few exceptions. One of the only things I cannot stand when I watch an old Hollywood drama is when the upper and the lower classes clash. Usually it is the girl who is poor and the man she loves is rich. He loves her too but his parents forbid the marriage. Ugh, those stories they bore. Unfortunately I sat through one of them called This Modern Age with Joan Crawford and I was bored beyond measure.
            A woman named Diane receives a letter from her daughter Valentine (Crawford). Val will be in Paris and wants to see her. Diane has not seen her daughter in years all this time Valentine has lived with her father. Diane thinks Val will hate her. When Val arrives and meets her mother she is calm and asks for a hug. Diane is happy to see her daughter.
            Diane allows Val to go out without a chaperone. She goes out with a young man named Tony Girard. Tony’s father is Andre and he is the one who allows Diane to maintain her comfortable lifestyle. Within no time Val starts hitting the high life. She goes out with Tony he was driving home drunk one night and crashes the car. Tony almost crashed into another car. The owner of the other car is Bob Blake (Neil Hamilton). Bob helps both victims out of the car and brings Tony home. Val and Bob walk around Paris all night just talking without drinking. She had a great time with Bob. Not long after their walk Bob wants to marry Val.
            Andre asks Diane to marry him since they have known each other for seven years. Diane does not want to yet she is worried about Val. Diane lied to her daughter about why they have not seen each other over the years.
            Val goes to meet Bob’s parents. They are not too sure about. Val invites Bob and his parents to come over to her place. The evening starts off nicely until Tony comes home with a large crowd who are all drunk and loud. Bob kisses Val on the forehead in front of Bob’s parents. After his parents leave Bob wants to marry her right away because he wants to take her away from people like Tony and her mother. He tells her the truth that the house is not her mother’s is belongs to Andre. Val gets upset with Bob and does not want to marry him anymore. Diane comes into the room she figures out that Bob and his family do not like her because of what she is. Val tells her that Bob told her about the house belonging to Andre.
            Val gets Diane to move out of the house away from the corruption. Diane breaks her promise to Val to never see Andre again. She goes out and calls on Andre she could not take the way she and Val were living in a small apartment and barely getting by. Val is upset because Diane had told her she loved her and would die for her. When Diane leaves Val calls Tony to come over with some champagne and to have some fun.
            Diane eventually goes to Bob’s house to speak to him and his parents. They all respect her now because of what she was willing to sacrifice just for a short time for her daughter. She tells them to not blame Val for what she (Diane) has done. Val is with Tony. Bob tracks her down and takes her away with him along with Diane.

            Seriously This Modern Age was one of the most boring films I have ever seen. Nothing about it was good. Well, maybe the acting was alright but other than that it was not good. Joan Crawford was good and I liked her and Neil Hamilton together. Unless you are a fan of Joan Crawford skip this film it is not worth the time.