Nothing Sacred

Movie Information

In Brief: William A. Wellman’s very aptly titled Nothing Sacred (1937) begins with a series of titles informing us, “This is New York, skyscraper champion of world, where the slickers and know-it-alls peddle gold bricks to each other, and where truth, crushed to earth, rises again more phony than a glass eye.” That effectively captures the tone of the film, which is quite probably the single most cynical of all screwball comedies. Wellman’s film — and Ben Hecht’s screenplay — takes no prisoners in its jandiced look at not only the cult of manufactured celebrity, but the people who attach themselves to cause celebre cults. If you’ve ever felt a little skeptical of the business of people aligning themselves with tragedies that have no actual bearing on their lives, this is your movie. It’s a film that sets up sacred cows and then happily leads them to the abattoir — and yet it does so with such good humor that it’s ultimately more funny than bitter. How it all plays out is somewhat at odds with what you might expect, and that’s what makes Nothing Sacred something special in the realm of classic screwball comedies. Don’t miss this one. This excerpt was taken from a review by Ken Hanke published on Nov. 6, 2012.
Genre: Screwball Comedy
Director: William Wellman
Starring: Carole Lombard, Fredric March, Walter Connolly, Charles Winninger, Sig Ruman
Rated: NR

The Asheville Film Society will screen Nothing Sacred on Tuesday, Jan. 17, at 7:30 p.m. at The Grail Moviehouse, hosted by Xpress movie critic Scott Douglas.

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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