Man of the World

1931

Drama / Romance

0
IMDb Rating 6.2

Synopsis


Downloaded 254 times
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1.35G
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English
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74 min
P/S 0 / 0
877.29M
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English
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74 min
P/S 0 / 0

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by robert-temple-1 8

This was the film when William Powell and Carole Lombard, through working together, fell in love and married in the same year. At this stage in her career, Lombard was still somewhat embryonic, having not yet developed into her proper persona, though she was an attractive and winsome ingénue. Powell, on the other hand, who was already 39, had fully matured, whereas Lombard was only 23. The story and screenplay were both by Herman Mankiewicz (1897-1953), brother of the director Joe Mankiewicz, uncle of Tom (whom I knew), and related to numerous others in the film business. It is rather sad tale of a basically good man who has become such a 'man of the world' that he cannot be true to himself and thus cannot find the happiness he craves. The story is set in Paris, at the peak of the period of its American tourist and bohemian invasion. Although not filmed on location, there are some convincing cafes and a very funny scene where a genuine Frenchwoman and her large number of children, gabbling in impeccable patois, squeeze Powell and Lombard off a park bench. So the script had such excellent touches. The quality of the film was very good, considering how recently sound had come in, and no one seems too obviously to be speaking into a microphone concealed in a vase of flowers. William Powell really is superb in this film, and it is his showpiece, and it must have helped boost his career a lot. The marriage of Powell and Lombard would only last two years, but it seems to have done them both a world of good, and they remained friends. The film had two directors, Richard Wallace, who was two years younger than Powell and is best known for the John Garfield film THE FALLEN SPARROW (1943), and an uncredited Edward Goodman, who only directed two films, both in 1931. I presume it was Wallace who finished the Goodman picture, rather than the other way around, but that is just a guess. I have no idea what was behind it all and why Goodman disappeared from the business that year, as he did not die until 1962. One of the mysteries we will probably never solve! Guy Kibbee plays a rich American tourist, father to Lombard, and does so with his usual geniality and large girth. Wynne Gibson plays the hard-bitten Irene, who has been Powell's partner in fleecing rich Americans in Paris for some time and does not want to let him go. She says: 'I know it is all over between us,' but clearly in her mind it is not. She appeared in 50 titles before retiring in 1956. She specialised in played hard-boiled women. Will Powell, who has found true love, be able to reform? Can it work in the society of that day? The film is well worth watching and finding out for yourself.

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Reviewed by glennstenb 9

As of summer 2019 there are a number of reviews of this film on IMDb, and a divide exists between those liking it a lot and those disapproving. I fall into the liking category, enjoying the acting so very much, including Wynne Gibson. I thought she did a marvelous job, allowing us to tune into her vulnerability and also allowing us to perceive how she calculated her responses to William Powell in conversation... her character knows she must tread carefully with him. Mr. Powell likewise deftly displays a suite of emotions. Unfortunately for our viewing pleasure Carole Lombard had a role that wasn't really all that demanding, but her presence was glamorously magnetic even so. The story is thoughtful and really compelling, while the dialog was skillfully crafted. The ending is among the more powerful I remember seeing in film. And thankfully, being from 1931, the film has no background music trying to help us react to the goings-on. This is a beautifully put-together film for 1931, only three years into the screenplay era (there are a number of fine films from 1930 and 1931, but more often memorable because of the action and settings, not because of thoughtful screenplay). The small cast of actors here approached their roles seriously and it was apparent they took time to evaluate and rehearse their lines. Very much appreciated is that the takes and editor's cuts are not intrusively obvious, allowing viewers to mentally "sink" into and stay inside the program. And lastly, although morality is existentially debated in this picture and courage as a trait is on display, gratefully the viewer is not necessarily being manipulated into a point of view... this would likely not happen in today's world of cinema where the film's point of view is paramount and inescapable. This "Man of the World" is a near-great one!

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Reviewed by oldblackandwhite 7

Man Of The World is an 80-year old curio found in an economically priced Universal album with five other Carol Lombard pictures likewise valued primarily as antiques. The gorgeous Miss Lombard bore not a little resemblance to Greta Garbo in the looks department, though even more beautiful. Unfortunately there was little resemblance in the acting department. She was best at comedy, but Man Of The World is a melodrama. Never mind, William Powell was on hand to take care of that department with solid support from the delightfully eccentric Guy Kibbee and perennial strumpet Wynne Gibson.<br/><br/>This picture is very much the creaking early talkie. You know it is from the moment you start the DVD by the 1.20:1 screen aspect ratio. The sound strip on the edge of the film cut the 35 mm film frame&#39;s original 1.33:1 (same as an old standard TV screen) down to a claustrophobic, square-looking screen. By 1933 all the studios would adopt the &quot;Accademy Standard&quot; 1.37:1 screen by the simple expedient of a camera aperture mask. Early street scenes in Man Of The World are obviously stock footage from silent movies. But there was little other stock footage available then! When the movies started talking, there were three kinds of actors available -- those who had acted only in silents, stage actors, and actors who had experience in both media. But they and their directors soon learned that the talking picture was a whole new game. The melodramatic gestures needed to convey emotion in silent movies looked ridiculous with actual spoken dialog. Yet the stage style of acting would seem wooden in talking pictures. With microphones actors did not need to shout to be heard, and the motion picture camera could record subtle facial expressions and body movements which would have been lost on the third row of a live theater audience. <br/><br/>Both Powell and Lombard had stage as well as silent movie experience, though much more of the latter in her case. Powell, who would eventually develop a talking picture style of top caliber, was still working on it in Man Of The World. He seems a little stiff at times, and so does Wynne Gibson, but both are nevertheless very effective. Contrary to what some other reviewers have felt, I found Gibson&#39;s performance and asset, even though there were times when she was projecting to the back row seats. Carole Lombard&#39;s sound acting style with her sexy voice and fluid movement seems more natural, but then her part in the picture is not a particularly demanding one. Guy Kibbee, surprisingly, is the player who had the most secure handle on the new sound movie style. Perhaps it was his early experience as an entertainer in the intimate confines of a Mississippi riverboat.<br/><br/>The oft-used plot has slick con man Powell trying to work a blackmail scheme on naive American lass Lombard and her rich but dimwitted uncle Kibbee. With jealous ex-moll and confederate Gibson egging on the reluctant Powell. Predictably Powell falls in love with the sweet and beautiful Carole. However, all is very well done, things do not necessarily go according to formula, and the ending is something of a surprise.<br/><br/>Though I was about to give up on the Carole Lombard movies after watching two from the set, The Princess Comes Through, and We&#39;re Not Dressing (see my review), I was pleasantly surprised by Man Of The World. But then it was really a William Powell movie. Carole didn&#39;t have to do much except look good, and she did that very well indeed.<br/><br/>Man Of The World is rough around the edges but rewarding if you stick with it. At an hour and fourteen minutes, a good filler movie.<br/><br/>--------- Post Script (Jan 2014): Since writing this creaky old review, viewings of several other Carol Lombard Lombard pictures, including Love Before Breakfast (1936) (see my review) and the wonderful Twentieth Century (1934) have considerably raised my regard for the beautiful lady&#39;s acting ability.

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