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Wick's Review

Created Jul 04, 2014 10:10PM PST • Edited Nov 24, 2018 09:50PM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Very Good 3.5

    Considered one of the great screwball comedies, Nothing Sacred is still worth viewing some eighty years after its premier for the satirical laughs it triggers, for its colorful portrayal of New York City and rural Vermont, and for its clever takedown of venal journalism as practiced by big city newspapers.

    A brisk hour and a quarter in run time, this short movie nevertheless provides an opportunity for a parade of character actors to strut their stuff, one bit after another. One of them jumps off screen as the future Wicked Witch of the West, here a taciturn New Englander. Yep.

    The story is about a pretty young woman from the boondocks who is said to have a fatal disease, which leads a circulation-starved newspaper to bring her to the Big Apple so they can make her the toast of the town. Things work like a charm, until her ruse gets found out. Screwball!

  3. Very Good 3.5

    Carole Lombard was the biggest star in Hollywood when Nothing Sacred premiered in the late 1930s. She still charms to this day: funny, pretty and lovable, even when engaged in a deceitful con.

    Fredric March, one of Hollywood’s leading men, stars opposite her as an ace reporter for a big newspaper.

    Tons of Character Actors
    • Charles Winninger as a drunken small town doctor
    • Walter Connolly as a high-handed newspaper publisher
    • Sig Ruman as a fancy-pants European doctor
    • Frank Fay as a dulcet-toned Master of Ceremonies
    • Troy Brown Sr. as a fake King
    • Max ‘Slapsie Maxie’ Rosenbloom as a New York thug
    • Margaret Hamilton as a taciturn New Englander. Hamilton would go on to play the infamous Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz.
  4. Male Stars Very Good 3.5
  5. Female Stars Great 4.0
  6. Female Costars Very Good 3.5
  7. Male Costars Very Good 3.5
  8. Very Good 3.5

    Nothing Sacred is literally and figuratively colorful, being one of the first color films and also being an effective satire of taciturn New Englanders and slick New Yorkers.

  9. Direction Great 4.0
  10. Play Good 3.0

    The script was written by the greatest screenwriter in Hollywood history, Ben Hecht. However he quit the production over a disagreement with director William Wellman. A Who’s Who of writers finished the job, including Budd Schulberg, Dorothy Parker, Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman.

  11. Music Very Good 3.5
  12. Visuals Really Great 4.5

    1930s New York is seen in glorious color at both the street levels and from the air. Also fascinating are scenes set in rural Vermont, back when horse drawn wagons rolled along dirt streets.

  13. Content
  14. Tame 1.3
  15. Sex Innocent 1.0
  16. Violence Gentle 1.3
  17. Rudeness Polite 1.5
  18. Glib 1.7

    Nothing Sacred retains its satiric heft because it is a somewhat timeless takedown of the lowdown practices of big city newspapers. Perhaps some clever filmmakers are working on an update based on the recent phone-hacking scandals in London.

  19. Circumstantial Surreal 2.5
  20. Biological Glib 1.6
  21. Physical Natural 1.0


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