Dinner at Eight

George Cukor plays “get the guest” in this masterfully directed screen adaptation of a George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber play. Dinner at Eight finds Wallace Beery (a vulgar magnate), Jean Harlow (his guttersnipe wife), John Barrymore (a now destitute matinee idol) and Marie Dressler (decaying Grand Dame) seated at the posh table of New York social climber Billie Burke and her husband Lionel Barrymore. The story is both dramatic and witty, composed of elegantly linked vignettes in which each guest is cynically revealed and an exposé on the sham of Depression “high life” unfolds. All give tour-de-force performances in what is perhaps the best MGM all-star attraction and one of the most entertaining films of the thirties.

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