Nothing Sacred

Browse by  Genre | Director | Actor
  OpenFlix > Nothing Sacred


Nothing Sacred


English   Country: USA   Year: 1937

Nothing Sacred


William A. Wellman


Carole Lombard




A woman fakes radium poisoning for a series of newspaper articles.


[User Reviews]  [Summary]  [Marketplace]

User Reviews


(Average=4.24 out of 5; Total Number=17)

A Dark, Satirical Look At Media Hype (rating=4)

Jason Blair, eat your heart out! Frederick March stars as an unscrupulous newspaper reporter who uses a maudlin tragedy -- a young woman who's dying of radium poisoning -- as a way to revive his shaky career. The trouble is, the gal is actually faking her ailment, using it as a way to escape her dull life in a provincial Vermont village. Carole Lombard plays the faker, Ms. Hazel Flagg, who becomes the toast of the town when brought to see the bright lights of New York City. Ben Hecht's tart, cynical script skillfully juxtoposes the sensationalized sentimentalism that Hazel attracts with the business-as-usual media hype and casual crassness of the Big Apple. While the film has its weak points (poor sound design, rushed production values, some ethnic humor that hasn't aged well), Hecht's merciless portrayal of flavor-of-the-week media "events" proves once again that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Recommended.

(PS - A scene involving an airplane ride also provides a nice aerial view of Depression-era NYC.)

Yumpin' Yiminee! Comedy And Commentary In A Perfect Union! (rating=5)

NOTHING SACRED has all the right elements to make it a classic screwball comedy. It's short (a mere 74 minutes), has tight and fast scenes, some out-of-the-blue and very odd occurences (as mentioned by others, the boy biting March is a riot), stars who aren't afraid to get silly or messy to produce the best laugh, and a strong, scathing message.

Ben Hecht's script is excellent, providing many belly laughs during the movie, and chuckles long after the VCR or DVD player has been shut off. Carole Lombard is her hilarious wacky self. I love black and white movies, but I must admit the Technicolor really allowed me to appreciate her full beauty. And as for Fredric March, well, I've always had a sweet spot for his acting, and he certainly didn't disappoint in this production. He and Lombard balance each other out perfectly. And, as was characteristic of the great comedies of the 30s, the supporting characters excel in their roles to round out a practically perfect comedy.

As far as the film itself, there were three aspects that I particularly enjoyed. One being the sincere, in your face view of male/female relationships. The bedroom fighting scene between March and Lombard is hilarious, one of the highlights of the movie, but would never make it on screen in any of today's movies. In today's movie world where you can't offend ANYONE (except Christians or Republicans), and you usually can't show any kind of physical humor toward women (yet it's OK to beat the guy to a pulp), the un-PC nature of this 60+ year old production gives it unexpected freshness.

A second uncommon point is the change in the romantic comedy formula. You know, it almost always goes boy meets girl, boy and girl are together for awhile having a jim-dandy time, boy and girl break up after tiff or misunderstanding of some sort, boy or girl makes a witty, cutesy speech to get them back together. This movie changes at least the last part of that formula to focus the last question from "How will they get back together?" to "How will they get out of the problem together?". Nice little twist.

A final interesting aspect was the deliberate hiding of Lombard and March's faces during most of their more intimate scenes. This is fitting considering the movie was a rail against the mass media's need to sensationalize and exploit every intimate thing (and the masses' willingness to happily join in the explotation).

If you enjoyed BRINGING UP BABY or IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT, you're bound to enjoy this film. If you enjoy this film, but haven't seen the other two I mentioned, check them out! Chances are you won't be disappointed!

Carole Lombard #1 Comedian Of The 30's !!! Great DVD Xfer! (rating=5)

Carole Lombard was an intelligent beautiful natural blonde, the greatest female Screwball comedian , highest paid actress, wife of Clark Gable and one of the most powerful woman in Hollywood during the 1930's until her untimely death in 1942. This beautifully restored DVD gives us a taste of Carole Lombard and the effect she had to audiences of the 30's. This was her only Technicolor movie she ever made. So sit back and watch her natural beauty and acting genius evolve on the screen. Fredric March as her co-star adds to this adorably humorous film.

In Summary: A Vermont girl Hazel Flagg (Lombard) in diagnosed in having radium poisoning (terminal). A hot shot New York Jounalist (March)reads about this in a newspaper and wants to use this event to raise his magazines popularity by sponsoring Hazel. Bringing her to New York City and presenting her with the "Keys to the City" and VIP status raises great public awareness. All the time using public sympathy to raise magazine sales.

Hazel finds out she was mis-diagnosed and reluctantly continues on with the scam. In the meantime March starts falling in love with Hazel and he wants her to rest and be comfortable until her end comes. As you can see this has a strange twist of events which is the main ingredient to the "SCREWBALL COMEDIES" of the 30's. Proving "Nothing's Sacred"!!!
The extras include: 2 early silent Lombard movies and Gable&Lombard home movies. This is a collectable "LIMITED EDITION" DVD to have.


As potent today as it was when released in 1937, this classic screwball satire stars Carole Lombard as Hazel Flagg, the small-town girl who mistakenly believes she's dying of radium poisoning. Sensing a great human interest story that will tug the public's heartstrings and help sell newspapers, exploitative journalist Wally Cook (Fredric March) brings Hazel to New York City and turns her into a media darling. Wally's callous strategy takes a sudden turn when he starts having feelings for the vulnerable Hazel. Filmed in early three-strip Technicolor and scripted by Ben Hecht and James H. Street, this sharp comedy still sizzles with its cynical take on media profiteering, and the matching of Lombard and March is unforgettably entertaining. The digital video disc features two Mack Sennett comedy shorts in two-strip Technicolor, the original theatrical trailer forNothing Sacred, and rarely seen home movies from the archives of legendary Hollywood couple Clark Gable and Carole Lombard.--Jeff Shannon