|PRIVATE NUMBER (SECRET INTERLUDE) (director: Roy Del Ruth; screenwriters: Gene Markey/William Conselman/from the story by Cleves Kinkead /frpm the play Common Clay by Cleves Kinkead; cinematographer: Peverell Marley; editor: Allen McNeil; music: Cyril J. Mockridge; cast: Robert Taylor (Richard Winfield), Loretta Young (Ellen Neal), Basil Rathbone (Wroxton), Patsy Kelly (Gracie), Joe Lewis (Smiley Watson), Marjorie Gateson (Mrs. Winfield), Paul Harvey (Perry Winfield), Jane Darwell (Mrs. Frisbie), Paul Stanton (Rawlings), John Miljan (Stapp), Monroe Owsley (Coakley), George Irving(Judge; Runtime: 80; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Raymond Griffith; 20th Century Fox; 1936)|
|"A creaky romantic drama."
by Dennis Schwartz
previously in 1919 as a silent and in 1931, as
Common Clay. A creaky romantic drama intended
as a star vehicle for the gorgeous Loretta Young.
Director Roy Del Ruth ("The West Point
Story"/"Red Light"/"Ziegfeld Follies") adequately
helms the melodrama. It's based on the story and the
1915 play, Common Clay, by Cleves Kinkead. The
screenwriters are Gene Markey and William
17-year-old Loretta Young works as a
servant in the mansion of Robert Taylor's wealthy
family. While vacationing together at his family's
Maine vacation home they fall in love and secretly
wed. Taylor that fall returns to finish his senior
year at an Ivy League college.
continues as a maid even though pregnant. When
the nasty family butler Basil Rathbone discovers the
secret, the sleaze rats him out to his mom (Marjorie
Gateson) and dad (Paul Harvey). They
dismiss Young. She writes to Taylor, but the butler
doesn't mail the letters. Young gives birth to a son
without his knowledge. Taylor's parents tell their
naive son she ran out on him. When Taylor learns Young
had some trouble with the law as a teen, he goes along
with his parents' annulment plans. In court, it's
cleared up that Young's previous legal troubles were
when she was framed for a crime she didn't do. Taylor
realizes that he loves Young and it results in a
Hollywood happy ending.
A dated film that's a heavy slog for the modern-day viewer.
REVIEWED ON 10/1/2015 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ