The Animal Kingdom (Free Screening!)

An intellectual publisher finds that it's hard to balance the demands of wife and mistress in this sophisticated comedy, so “adult” that it was denied re-release in 1935 and 1937 for censorship reasons. Ever-droll Leslie Howard plays the husband caught between two competing women, his lovely wife (Myrna Loy), who provides the physical spark, and his artistic mistress (Ann Harding), who supplies the creative bond. Once each woman knows of the other's existence, however, the roles oddly reverse; the wife acts as deceptively as a secret lover, while the mistress becomes as unassuming as a spouse. “Torrid sex stuff suavely treated!” panted Variety on the film's debut, which opened the 3700-seat RKO Roxy Theater. It shared the theater's stage with a chorus line of Roxyettes performing a “machine-age dance,” and Emil Boreo, “an amusing European” who sang “I'm a Hot-Headed Latin in Cold, Cold Manhattan.” While Mr. Boreo's allure has not survived, the delights of this film, and its three luminous stars, certainly have.
—Jason Sanders

This page may by only partially complete. For additional information about this film, view the original entry on our archived site.