Dinner At Eight (1933) Review

Dinner At Eight (1933)  Director: George Cukor


Dinner At Eight is an amusing romp, albeit stressful and somewhat morbid. Dinner At Eight weaves together interconnected stories and plot-lines which culminates in a “dinner at eight.”

Dinner At Eight (inspired by the “all-star” cast and plot of the Grand Hotel) is an amusing film starring big Hollywood names, like Jon Barrymore, Marie Dressler, Jean Harlow, Lionel Barrymore, and others. It tells the story of shipping magnate and business owner Oliver Jordan and his anxious wife, Millicent, who is planning to throw a dinner next Thursday. She was informed that a powerful couple they met in England last year would be visiting, the Ferncliffes. Meanwhile their daughter, Paula, is unenthusiastic about the return of her fiance Ernest. We discover that Paula is having an affair with Larry, a washed up silent film star.

As context, the great depression is in full swing and Jordan Shipping is struggling as many wish to sell their stock, including Carlotta Vance, a now retired former stage actress. Dan Packard, a mining magnate whose wife has been cheating on him with Dr. Talbot, is interested in acquiring Jordann Shipping. Before, Larry commits suicide by gas in his room when he loses another major starring role, it is discovered that Oliver has heart thrombosis, the Ferncliffes cancel on dinner. In the end of this swirling drama of interconnected conflicts, the guests all proceed to dinner. The film received no Academy Award nominations.

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