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BABBITT-the film


DownGoesFrazier
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I saw much of the film this morning, and am scratching my head. I read the Sinclair Lewis novel in high school, but do not remember much about it. I do know that it was one of his best-known novels......However, having Guy Kibbee and Aline MacMahon in the lead roles screams "B" movie, and the last 45 minutes were incredibly lame. It seems that the studio would assign a bigger budget and make more of an effort in filming such a landmark novel. Anyone know anything about this?

 

Edited by: finance on Nov 6, 2012 3:43 PM

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It was probably just a case of the brothers Warner squeezing out another version of a property that they filmed ten years earlier. This is the same studio that filmed three versions of THE MALTESE FALCON in just ten years. Recent adaptations of ARROWSMITH and ANN VICKERS could have had the brothers striking while the Sinclair Lewis vogue was hot.

 

One can further theorize that as it came out at the end of 1934, it may have been through some extreme script changes or editing as by that point the Code was fully in effect. That might explain the brief running time. Of course the Code may not have been what caused the divergence from the Lewis source material, Warners already filmed MOBY DICK with Ahab getting a happy ending and a bride to boot.

 

I didn't see it the other day but did close to five years ago when TCM had an Aline MacMahon tribute one day and I'll be damned if Guy Kibbee wasn't in most of the films aired.

 

 

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