The Animal Kingdom

  • 1932
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

Well-acted romantic vehicle for Howard which will appeal to intellectual and sophisticated viewers. He is a rich publisher who leaves his artist mistress Harding to marry socially active Loy, only to discover that the security of married life does not exist, that his wife is a Lorelei who is involved with another man, Hamilton. In fact, Loy acts more like...read more

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Well-acted romantic vehicle for Howard which will appeal to intellectual and sophisticated viewers. He is a rich publisher who leaves his artist mistress Harding to marry socially active Loy, only to discover that the security of married life does not exist, that his wife is a Lorelei who

is involved with another man, Hamilton. In fact, Loy acts more like a freewheeling mistress than a wife, and loyal, loving Harding is more like a wife than a mistress. The age-old love triangle is freshly presented with Howard's emotions being tugged by both women. His colorful butler, Gargan,

doesn't help matters; he's an ex-fighter who makes himself at home with guests, pouring himself drinks and oafishly acting like a peer, a wonderful supporting part played to the hilt by this veteran character actor. Howard finally sees the error of his ways, the shallowness of Loy, and the

completeness of Harding. Putting on his hat, he tells Loy, "I'm going back to my wife," meaning his mistress, and departs. This faithful adaptation of the very successful stage play by Philip Barry was produced by David O. Selznick, always a stickler for authenticity and maintaining the integrity

of the original story, as he was later to prove with inexhaustible fury with GONE WITH THE WIND. At first Selznick did not want Loy playing Howard's wife (although he later said he insisted that she play the part at the start). His first choice was the cool blonde, Karen Morley, who had played the

trampy mistress of Osgood Perkins in SCARFACE, but after he saw Loy's screen test for the part (she was then not considered star material), Selznick was convinced that she would be the perfect wifely vixen. Of course, this marvelous actress vindicated Selznick's final decision by giving a

masterful performance as the scheming flirt, but it was Howard who carried the film with his usual sensitive portrayal of the gentleman most men wished to be.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Well-acted romantic vehicle for Howard which will appeal to intellectual and sophisticated viewers. He is a rich publisher who leaves his artist mistress Harding to marry socially active Loy, only to discover that the security of married life does not exis… (more)

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