Movie Mirrors Index

Nothing Sacred

(1937 c 74')

En: 7 Ed: 7

A reporter and his editor publicize a young woman dying of radiation poisoning only to learn she is healthy.

At a banquet editor Oliver Stone (Walter Connolly) honors reporter Wally Cook (Fredric March); but a sultan is exposed as boot-black Ernest Walker (Troy Brown). Oliver assigns Wally to obituaries until Wally tells him about a woman dying of radiation he promises to make into a great story. Wally goes to Warsaw, Vermont, but he gets little help from people who answer "Yep" or "Nope." Dr. Enoch Downer (Charles Winninger) tells Wally that newspapermen are the lowest. Enoch tells Hazel Flagg (Carole Lombard) she is not going to die. Hazel cries, because she has to go back to the factory. Wally invites Hazel to New York as guest of the paper. They fly over New York as Hazel says she doesn't want to see any doctors but have fun.

Oliver organizes receptions for Hazel. At a wrestling match Wally tells her it is fake, like New York, and the audience observes silence for her. Wally and Hazel go sailing, and he says he is waiting for love. Dining out, Wally and Hazel are tired of lamentations. A show presents heroines of history as scantily dressed women on horses; but Hazel passes out. Tipsy Enoch puts her to bed, and she wakes up with a hang-over. Enoch gives her raw eggs, and Hazel is afraid that Wally will be ruined. Enoch tells Wally that Hazel has two weeks, and Wally tells her that he is going to the governor to arrange her funeral as a public holiday. Before he goes, he mentions he got an expert doctor for her. Hazel tells Enoch she must commit suicide.

While children sing for Hazel, Ernest gets flowers from her room and finds her suicide note to New York city. Ernest calls Oliver, who tells Wally. The mayor gets the police to drag the river. Wally finds Hazel and jumps in after her. Wally asks Hazel to marry him and kisses her. A fireman gives her his coat and hat, and Hazel finds Enoch and Dr. Emil Eggelhoffer (Sig Ruman) in her room. Eggelhoffer's three colleagues arrive, and they all tell Enoch that Hazel has no radiation poisoning. They leave a bill and promise not to tell newspapers. Wally tells Oliver that Hazel is marrying him that night; but Oliver blames Wally for ruining him, because Hazel is a fraud. Oliver sends for Hazel, while Wally blames him for attempting to sell newspapers. Oliver learns that Hazel has pneumonia and tries to call Eggelhoffer. Wally goes to Hazel and tries to raise her temperature by fighting with her; then he knocks her out. Oliver tells Wally he saw it all. Hazel wakes up and knocks out Wally. Hazel confesses to the mayor; but the paper reports that she vanished. In the final scene on a ship Wally kisses his wife; a woman sees her and defends Hazel Flagg. Enoch looks out the window and says the hotel is flooded.

This scintillating comedy satirizes modern public relations and publicity campaigns that play upon the public's emotions.

Copyright © 2000 by Sanderson Beck

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