Sunday, 19 April 2009

The Last of Mrs Cheyney (1937)

I can't resist stories about jewel thieves. If they are comedies, all the better. So how could I not take the chance to watch "The Last of Mrs Cheyney"?

Until I saw it, the most interesting thing about this film was that Joan Crawford replaced Myrna Loy as the lead of this version of "The Last of Mrs Cheyney". When I say "replaced Myrna Loy" I strongly suspected "forced MGM to replace Myrna Loy with herself". You see, Crawford was due a picture with Gable called "Parnell" and didn't like it. Her gut instinct was right - that wasn't exactly a success. Anyway, she got the part. So instead of an historical drama, she did a comedy. Considering Loy's gift for comedy, these were amazingly large shoes to fill. But she does it, in a charming way. The difference is perharps that Powell isn't the love interest, but rather Robert Montgomery.

I have to say the film surpassed my expectations. I'm always weary of Crawford's stuff at MGM, as it can be excellent, or the opposite. This is one of the best, and I can only say I'm sorry that is not on DVD.


VP81955 said...

"The Last Of Mrs. Cheyney" had previously been made in 1929 with Crawford's MGM archrival, Norma Shearer, and I'm certain Joan was just aching to show she could beat Shearer at her own game. (Had never heard about Myrna being considered for the remake.)

I've never seen either film, but I understand the '29 version has a definite pre-Code sensibility, so it would be fascinating to compare and contrast.

Miguel said...

I've never seen the 1929 version, but it's not hard to see how different it would be as a pre-code. It's not a Joan Crawford typical vehicle and she does show some flair for comedy. And to her credit I didn't spend the whole film thinking how Myrna Loy would do it.