3 things about Dorothy Arzner’s MERRILLY WE GO TO HELL

Merrily We Go to Hell [1932]

1. He explains that he’s on the wagon. Immediately she mentions that if he needs it, there’s a bottle in the closet.
2. She’s powdering her nose. “I spent the morning realizing that we’re living in a modern world, where there’s no place for old-fashioned wives. You seem to want a modern wife and that’s what I’m going to be.”
3. From the doorway of the kitchen she watches her husband share a long kiss with his mistress. The others in the room seem blasé about her presence.

Extraordinary. Hollywood wouldn’t make a comparatively complex portrait of a marriage for another 30 years. And it’s 83 minutes long!

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