During my week of illness in March, my mom snagged me a copy of “Carole Lombard – The Glamour Collection” DVD set from the library. Throughout this month I’ve been sharing reviews of all of the films in the set. This is the final review in the series!
**THE PREMISE SUMMARY PORTION OF THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS FOR THE FILM. Proceed with caution, though I haven’t given everything away!
Helen Bartlett (Carole Lombard) is a writer with a bad habit of telling lies. She’s also the wife of a lawyer named Ken (Fred MacMurray) — an honest man who won’t take a case unless the person he’s defending is truly innocent.
When Helen finds out that they aren’t quite as well off as she thought financially, she goes behind Ken’s back and finds a job as a secretary to supplement his income.
But when Helen arrives at the home of Otto Krayler (John T. Murray) to start her first day of work, he tries to get frisky with her. She quits the job immediately, running out of the house without even grabbing her coat or purse.
She returns later in the day with her friend Daisy (Una Merkel) at her side to retrieve her things, only to find that Otto has been killed. Helen becomes a suspect in the case and must find a way to win the trial and prove her innocence.
Wesley Ruggles directs the screwball comedy True Confession, which alongside the performers listed above also stars John Barrymore. Released in 1937, the film is based on a play (Mon Crime) by Georges Berr and Louis Verneuil. It was adapted for the screen by Claude Binyon.
True Confession is a film with a lot of greatness working in it’s favor.
Start with the top-notch cast: Carole Lombard and Fred MacMurray together again! John Barrymore! Una Merkel! While the entire cast is phenomenal, Barrymore and Lombard battle for bragging rights as the most captivating performers of the film. Barrymore comes very close to stealing the show from Carole, but she completely kills it, once again reminding the viewer why she was considered the queen of screwball comedy.
The script is really great as well. It’s very funny, especially in the dialogue for Lombard’s character. One of the script’s shining moments is a skit in which Lombard scares away a man who has come to collect her rented typewriter by telling him that her husband thinks the typewriter is their baby — a scene every bit as zany and hilarious as it sounds.
Even in the courtroom scenes the film doesn’t lose any of its comedic steam. It remains fast-paced throughout its entire running time, and just as many gags are pulled in front of the judge as were pulled before Helen was arrested.
True Confessions is a true delight to watch. With its fast pace, incredibly hilarious script and perfect cast, it’s a really fun film and definitely one of the best in “The Glamour Collection.” The score: 5/5! – A new favorite from Carole Lombard’s filmography