Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Unguarded Hour (1936)

Three years after Midnight Mary, Franchot Tone teamed up again with Loretta Young for The Unguarded Hour. As I mentioned in my Midnight Mary post, I love these two actors together and wish they'd collaborated on more projects in the 30s. Franchot and Loretta play blissfully happy married couple Sir Alan and Lady Helen Dearden in this romantic drama.

Alan is a respected prosecutor rising up to a likely attorney general position in the future. At a party, his wife Helen is threatened by a blackmailer who wants to expose an early affair Alan had before he was married. The blackmailer has steamy letters from Alan to Diana Roggers that could ruin Alan's reputation. Helen will protect her husband at all costs and agrees to leave money on a hiking trail in exchange for the letters.

Unaware of the blackmail scheme, Alan begins prosecuting a man who is accused of murdering his wife on the same trail where Helen deposited the money. Helen believes she's the witness who can save the man's life, but is afraid to come forward. She knows that testifying could be the end of Alan's career. 

The Unguarded Hour is a highly underrated film. The onscreen relationship between the two main stars is tender and convincing. The dialogue and plot are clever and sophisticated. Two character actors who tend to pop up in a lot of films I watch, Lewis Stone and Roland Young provide supporting roles.

You can purchase the DVD of The Unguarded Hour on Amazon or WBShop.

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