Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Passion Flower directed by William C. de Mille (starring Kay Francis, Kay Johnson, Charles Bickford)

Passion Flower (1930). Screenplay/adaptation by Martin Flavin from the novel Passion Flower by Kathleen Norris. Additional dialogue by Laurence E. Johnson and Edith Fitzgerald.

Cassy (Kay Johnson) and Dan (Charles Bickford), her father's chauffeur, get married against the objection of her father, which starts them off at the bottom. Kay Francis stars as Cassy's rich cousin Dulce who married for money. Five years and two kids later, Dan loses his job and has to accept Dulce's original wedding present of a farm.

It's obvious from the beginning that the constantly feuding Dan and Dulce are going to fall into each other's arms, but things move too quickly too soon. The whole thing is rather melodramatic, but the acting is good, the direction of William C. de Mille (brother of Cecil B.) is unobtrusive, and it doesn't go on for too long.

Zasu Pitts makes an impression as the landlady despite the awkward dialogue. Also, look for a young Ray Milland as a party guest.

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