Two Against the World (1932)

(Image: lizislazy @ tumblr)

(Image: lizislazy @ tumblr)

Adell Hamilton (Constance Bennett), the youngest daughter of the Hamilton family, finds herself attracted to a lawyer named David Norton (Neil Hamilton).

But their romance is no walk in the park. David is eventually assigned as the prosecutor in a murder case of which Adell has become a suspect, though her siblings were actually the ones involved in it.

Will Adell risk losing her love and cover for her siblings, or will she tell the truth and potentially break her family apart?

Archie Mayo directs the Warner Bros. pre-code drama Two Against the World.

Constance Bennett has no trouble single-handedly drawing the audience into this film. Her character seems pushy and stubborn, but very lively in the opening, which helps the film capture the viewer’s attention.

Constance and her cast mates all give quite believable performances here, though none of the supporting players ever quite succeed in stepping out from Bennett’s glamorous shadow.

The characters that these actors are portraying are all quite typical of the early ’30s drama forumla, which probably accounts for some of the reason that none of the actors stand out much. Even Bennett’s character is simple and familiar, but the actress’ charisma saves it somewhat.

Also a big of a drag on the film is the fact that it is not paced well. With such a short running time, one would expect it to be fast-paced in order to be able to tell a complete story that packs a dramatic punch.

Running at a total of 70 minutes, nearly 30 minutes of that is taken up by the build of Adell’s romantic endeavor with David, leaving only 40 minutes for the murder case to play out. The case should have been the film’s focus in order to accomplish a high sense of drama; the romance could have been condensed.

Still, the film is worth a watch. It isn’t the best of the “socialite learns a lesson and falls in love” cluster of films, but it improves as it progresses and generally remains engrossing. The score: 2.8/5

(Image: A Certain Cinema)

(Image: A Certain Cinema)

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