Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Irene Meets a Bachelor

Bachelor Apartment (1931) really stars Lowell Sherman as Wayne Carter, the owner of the apartment, which comes equipped with hot and cold running women.  One evening, while his is entertaining a recent conquest, Helene Andrews (Irene Dunne) arrives, looking for her younger sister.  Turns out, Carter's manservant has enticed the girl there, pretending to be the wealthy Carter.  Attracted to the out-of work Helen, he offers her a job in his organization - and help sister Lita (Claudia Dell) get a chorus job.  The course of true love does not, of course, run smooth.

We had seen Lowell Sherman before - playing the drunken director in What Price Hollywood?  We found him a lot more believable there, than as a roue being pursued by an endless number of women.  WHY they found him so attractive, was beyond us.  Our conclusion - he is quite wealthy, though that did not explain the constant presence of Agatha Carraway (Mae Murray), his former lover, who is now married and eager to restart their affair.  Either he is the world's greatest lover, or something else is going on here.  Regardless, the film, as a result, is very risque, amusingly so. We particularly enjoyed the scene where Helene appears in a bathrobe to protect Carter from Agatha's irate husband.

The costuming, especially Dunne's business clothing is quite impressive.  The wardobe for Murray is very over-the-top, but it perfectly matches her rather loud persona.  It is worth noting that our star, Lowell Sherman is the director here as well.

While not a great film, this is a fun one, and is worth a view.  Certainly an opportunity to see Dunne at the start of her impressive career is always welcome.  And while Sherman is not our idea of manly beauty, he is an amusing actor.  Here's a scene to whet your appetite:

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