Nothing Sacred

Nothing Sacred

5.0 2
Director: William Wellman

Cast: Carole Lombard, Fredric March, Charles Winninger

     
 

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"This is New York, Skyscraper Champion of the World...Where the Slickers and Know-It-Alls peddle gold bricks to each other...And where Truth, crushed to earth, rises again more phony than a glass eye..." With this jaundiced opening title, scripter Ben Hecht introduces his classic comedy Nothing Sacred. Fredric March plays Wally Cook, a hotshot reporterSee more details below

Overview

"This is New York, Skyscraper Champion of the World...Where the Slickers and Know-It-Alls peddle gold bricks to each other...And where Truth, crushed to earth, rises again more phony than a glass eye..." With this jaundiced opening title, scripter Ben Hecht introduces his classic comedy Nothing Sacred. Fredric March plays Wally Cook, a hotshot reporter condemned to writing obituaries because of his unwitting complicity in a fraud. Anxious to get back in the good graces of his editor Oliver Stone (Walter Connolly), Cook pounces on the story of New England girl Hazel Flagg (Carole Lombard), who is reportedly dying from radiation poisoning. Actually, Hazel isn't dying at all; she's been misdiagnosed by Moscow's eternally drunk doctor (Charles Winninger). But when Cook offers to take her on an all-expenses-paid trip to New York in exchange for her exclusive story, it's too good an offer to pass up. Once in the Big Apple, Hazel is feted as a heroine by the novelty-seeking populac; she enjoys the adulation at first, but soon (and with the help of gallons of alcoholic beverages) suffers the pangs of conscience. She confesses her deception to Cook, who by now has fallen in love with her. Cook and Stone conspire to keep the public from discovering the truth, eventually dreaming up a phony suicide. Travelling incognito to avoid arrest, Wally and Hazel marry and go on a honeymoon, secure in the knowledge that New York City has forgotten all about her and moved on to their next fad. Brimming with witty, acerbic dialogue and hilarious bits of physical business, Nothing Sacred is among the best "screwball" comedies of the 1930s. The musical score by Oscar Levant both mocks and celebrates the George Gershwinesque musical style then in vogue. As an added bonus, the film is lensed in Technicolor (avoid those two-color reissue prints), allowing modern viewers to see what New York City looked liked back in 1937. Nothing Sacred was later adapted into a Broadway musical, Hazel Flagg, which in turn was filmed by Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis as Living It Up (1954), with Lewis in the Carole Lombard role.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Richard Gilliam
Nothing Sacred is among the best screwball comedies of the 1930s, and one of the few to have been filmed in Technicolor. Carole Lombard and Fredric March lead a strong, versatile cast, and William Wellman's crisp direction keeps the story brisk and peppy. Screenwriter Ben Hecht gives the story an unusually sardonic edge, with fine dialogue and interesting secondary plot twists. Overall, the film plays well for current-day audiences, and the New York location gives the film a distinctive visual texture. One amusing bit of irony is the name and profession of Oliver Stone, the character played by Walter Connolly, a newspaper editor willing to alter facts to fit his needs. Nothing Sacred was released in 1937, nine years before the birth of future screenwriter/director Oliver Stone.

Product Details

Release Date:
12/20/2011
UPC:
0738329081621
Original Release:
1937
Source:
Kino Video
Time:
1:13:00
Sales rank:
48,761

Special Features

Trailers

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Carole Lombard Hazel Flagg
Fredric March Wally Cook
Charles Winninger Dr. Enoch Downer
Walter Connolly Oliver Stone
Sig Rumann Dr. Emile Egglehoffer
Frank Fay Master of Ceremonies
Raymond Scott Quintette Orchestra
"Slapsie Maxie" Rosenbloom Max Levinsky
Alexander Schoenberg Dr. Kerchinwisser
Alex Novinsky Dr. Marachuffsky
Aileen Pringle Mrs. Bullock
Monica Bannister "Pocahontas"
Billy Barty Little Boy
Shirley Chambers "Lady Godiva"
Jinx Falkenburg Katinka
Ray Scott Quintet Orchestra
Kathrun Sheldon Downer's Nurse
Troy Brown Ernest Walker
Margaret Hamilton Drug Store Lady
Everett Brown Policeman
Nora Cecil Schoolteacher
George Chandler Photographer
Ann Doran Telephone girl
Claire Du Brey Miss Rafferty, Nurse
Bill Dunn Electrician
Hedda Hopper Dowager
Art Lasky Mug
Vera Lewis Miss Sedgewick
Hattie McDaniel Mrs. Walker
Ben Morgan Wrestler
Lee Phelps Electrician
John Qualen Swedish Fireman
Charles Richman Mayor
Cyril Ring Pilot
Hans Steinke Wrestler
A.W. Sweatt Office boy
Ernest Whitman Policeman
Monty Woolley Dr. Vunch
Olin Howland Baggage Man

Technical Credits
William Wellman Director
Travis Banton Costumes/Costume Designer
Ben Hecht Screenwriter
Edward Boyle Set Decoration/Design
Jack Cosgrove Special Effects
Louis Forbes Musical Direction/Supervision
W. Howard Greene Cinematographer
Hal Kern Editor
Ring Lardner Screenwriter
Oscar Levant Score Composer
James Newcom Editor
Walter Plunkett Costumes/Costume Designer
Budd Schulberg Screenwriter
David O. Selznick Producer
Lyle Wheeler Art Director

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Nothing Sacred
1. Hoax! [:09]
2. Obituary Editor [5:38]
3. Dr. Downer [6:44]
4. Belle of New York [8:00]
5. Hazel Flagg Night [6:19]
6. Not Drunk [8:16]
7. Into the Drink [11:51]
8. Stranger from Europe [5:32]
9. Prize Chump [9:38]
10. Hazel Vanishes [8:41]

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