Idiot's Delight

  • Film
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Crass adaptation of Robert Sherwood's pacifist play, which not only reduces Sherwood's political arguments to a few whimpers about futility (they weren't any too hot in the first place), but adds a prologue revealing how the broken-down hoofer (Gable) and the mysterious Russian mistress of an armaments king (Shearer) had met and fallen in love when she too was just an all-American showbiz hopeful. What we are then faced with is simply the cloyingly predictable romance when they meet again - she now shorn of all dramatic mystery and all too obviously ripe for comeuppance because she put ambition before love. To make matters worse, the fateful romance takes place in a hotel somewhere in Europe with war hammering ominously at the doors: a hollow Ship of Fools peopled by the usual token selection of rats about to desert (armaments king, German scientist, fervent Communist, etc). Although Clarence Brown works hard to cast his usual elegant spell, the film remains as dead as a doornail, with the exception of one scene in which Gable does a delightfully shoddy top hat and white tie Astaire routine, raising morale in the audience if not the hotel guests.

Release details

Duration: 105 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Clarence Brown
Screenwriter: Robert E Sherwood
Cast: Clark Gable
Norma Shearer
Edward Arnold
Charles Coburn
Joseph Schildkraut
Burgess Meredith
Virginia Grey

Average User Rating

4.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:1
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  • 1 star:0
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Dede

Deep film. Subtle. Very enjoyable for the over the top performances and message.

Dede

Deep film. Subtle. Very enjoyable for the over the top performances and message.

David Fowler

Oy..........Yet another silly, silly, silly, wrongheaded review from the Time Out brain trust. Can it possibly be fulfilling to be that wrong that often?