SITUATION – Luise Rainer is a poor girl who works in a factory at night so that she can attend dramatic school during the day. Always the actress, she carries acting into real life, pretending to have wealthy nobleman Alan Marshal for an admirer. Paulette Goddard, jealous, disbelieving fellow pupil, sets out to prove that Luise is lying. But Marshal, learning of Luise’s difficulty, rises to a high point of chivalry and supports Luise’s claims. Then there follows an indefinite relationship between the two, until the theatre calls Luise….
COMMENT – Although beautifully produced, directed and acted, “Dramatic School” fails to be A No. 1 picture – and largely, I presume, because of censorship restrictions. Up to the point at which Luise and Alan Marshal become chummy, it is absorbing; but the relationship between them thereafter is so hazy that when the big emotional moment comes, it is without much force, because you have never felt that Luise and Alan care deeply for each other.
Paulette Goddard continues to merit attention. fresh from her success in “The Young in Heart,” she proves here that the acclaim was deserved. (The recent decision that she is to play Scarlett O’Hara should mean far more business for “Dramatic School” than it would otherwise get.) Miss Rainer plays her role in her customary birdlike manner. Gale Sondergaard is fine as a school instructor who is none too fond of Miss Rainer. The others of the supporting cast are good.
OPINION – No more than average.