|Breakfast for Two (1937)
Running Time: 67 Minutes
Dir. Alfred Santell
Cast: Barbara Stanwyck, Herbert Mashall, Glenda Farrell, Eric Blore
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Screening Time: Sunday, May 14, 2017 at 10:25 a.m.
Stanwyck is sunny side up as an heiress who uses her wits, beauty, and bankroll to make a marrying man out of an irresponsible playboy. A neat screwball comedy with an absolute scene-stealer named Pee Wee–a Great Dane!
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The film begins with rich and drunk playboy Herbert Marshall being taken to his home by nice girl Barbara Stanwyck. The butler's reaction (Eric Blore) at seeing her in the shower instead of his master is priceless! It seems that the Stanwyck and Marshall met the night before while he was on a bender and they share some sweet moments over breakfast. However, the nice moment is interrupted when Marshall finds that the fun and games are over, as he is practically broke and his family steamship line is about to be sold. Unknown to all, Barbara is loaded with cash and she buys the business and plans on letting Marshall run it–hoping to make him more responsible and her future husband! When Marshall discovers her plan, he is understandably miffed and immediately proposes to another woman!
This is a film that fans of old time Hollywood can enjoy. More "sophistsicated" viewers might see the premise of the film as very contrived and silly (which it is), but the point of the film is to enjoy the journey and NOT question the implausibility. Let me explain…. The film stars some excellent actors (Herbert Marshall and Barbara Stanwyck) and are very ably supported by some wonderful familiar faces–in particular, Eric Blore and Donald Meek. Unlike more modern films which often rely heavily on the stars, like some of the best 1930s films the supporting players give the film life and provide great laughs–providing a wonderful balance that is often missing in newer films. Heck, considering Blore's performance alone, I'd strongly recommend this movie. His appearances in TOP HAT and many other films of the 1930s did so much to improve the films, so I look forward to him at least at much as I looked forward to Stanwyck and Marshall! Also, while the plot is silly, the writing of the characters and dialog is amazingly witty and clever. In particular, the last 15 minutes of the film are sparkling and you can't help but laugh out loud–it's THAT good! Just turn off your brain and enjoy!
A New York playboy & a Texas rich girl enjoy BREAKFAST FOR TWO after a wild night on the town.
Here is a screwball comedy which derives its humor more from the fine acting of its cast than from zany situations. When these situations do appear late in the film the characters are well established in the viewer’s mind, adding extra zest to some very funny sequences.
Barbara Stanwyck stars as the highly determined young woman who uses her considerable resources to save the man she loves from his improvident lifestyle. This was an actress equally adept at the grittiest drama or the lightest comedy. Her timing was impeccable and her delivery uniquely all her own. As the object of her affections, Herbert Marshall makes excellent use of his suave demeanor and marvelous speaking voice to add a soupçon of sophistication to his character’s wastrel ways.
An excellent supporting cast gets fully involved in the zany proceedings. Brassy Glenda Farrell plays the dumb blonde actress who adores Marshall; good-hearted & jolly, the plot really does treat her unkindly. Eric Blore is wonderful as Marshall’s faithful, scheming valet. Tiny chittering Etienne Girardot plays Marshall’s elderly office manager. Donald Meek, as a flustered little Justice of the Peace, gets to preside over three of the funniest wedding ceremonies ever committed to film.
RKO has given the film very fine production values, as epitomized by the mansion sets shown in the opening sequence. And what about those crazy window washers?!
Watched this 1937 comedy recently on Turner Classic Movies and laughed (out loud) harder than I have in a long while. That’s saying something, as I am usually one of those "just smile when something is funny" type of people (those of you like me know what I mean ;)).
Although I am a fan of Stanwyck and Marshall, the incomparable character performances of Eric Blore (the Valet – "Butch") and Donald Meek (the Judge) STOLE the show. I am still laughing as I remember.
You may not remember the names of Blore and Meek, but if you have watched (practically) ANY movie from the 20’s, 30’s or 40’s, you will recognize their faces (usually as butlers, bankers, judges, or valets –combined – the two were in over 200 films in those 30 years!)
As previous reviewers have said, this movie is pure fun, lite comedy, with some of our most loved actors – worth the watch and GUARANTEED for a belly laugh!
This movie was my first Barbara Stanwyck experience, so I perhaps enjoy it for more sentimental reasons than most. However, it is a terrific screwball comedy. Where else do you get Eric Blore (being his wonderful self), a talking dog, and Barbara Stanwyck wearing a boxing glove? I strongly recommend it to any Stanwyck fan. It is quite humorous and enjoyable. It’s a cute little film and one of my all-time favorite comedies.