FERNANDO’s CORNER ~ Posted June 11th, 2016
I have just seen a brilliant, magnificent, fascinating, unique, nothing short of spectacular, Universal Pictures film: “The Kiss Before the Mirror” (1933), directed by the masterful James Whale.
Truly, truly, what a film!! This is definitely a Pre-Code, very adult-themed film, that could not have been made under the Code and it arguably contains one of Frank Morgan’s best performances ever. Nancy Carroll, as his wife and Paul Lukas as his friend, are also superb.
Lukas plays a quiet, decent man who is deeply in love with his beautiful wife (played by a most alluring Gloria Stuart), but who is cheating on him, carrying an affair with a dashing man (played by Walter Pidgeon in the Matinée Idol phase of his career). Lukas discovers them and he shoots his wife…
Enter Frank Morgan, a successful lawyer and Lukas’ best friend, who decides to defend him and obtain his acquittal. Morgan is married to the beautiful Nancy Carroll, who happened to be Stuart’s very close friend as well…..
That’s only the beginning of this great discovery of a film! I am still in awe of this grand film. I knew beforehand, because of what I had read, that it was an unsung, little-known gem, but still, I was surprised by its caliber and by Whale’s talent and artistry.
Jean Dixon is also excellent playing Morgan’s assistant, a no-nonsense lawyer, who’s not happy with her boss’ defense of his friend; Charley Grapewin is great as Morgan’s other assistant. Donald Cook has a brief role as Carroll’s lover.
A must-see for Pre-Code fans and for people who love good, intelligent dramas in general, as well as courtroom films.
[ H O M E ]