Watch Dinner at Eight
- 1 hr 51 min
Dinner at Eight is a classic pre-code era film that was released in 1933. The movie is a comedy-drama that tells the fictional story of a group of high society guests who have been invited to a dinner party that is being hosted by a wealthy couple, Millicent and Oliver Jordan, who are struggling to keep their financial problems a secret from their guests.
The film features an all-star cast that includes Marie Dressler, John Barrymore, and Wallace Beery, and focuses on the lives, hopes and dreams of these guests who are all facing personal challenges and crises in their own lives.
The standout performance of the movie is delivered by Marie Dressler, who plays the role of Carlotta Vance, a once-famous stage actress who is now in her twilight years and struggling to maintain her dignity in a world that has moved on without her. Dresslerâs portrayal of the proud, independent and witty Carlotta is a true tour-de-force and makes for some of the movieâs most memorable scenes.
John Barrymore plays the role of Larry Renault, a famous but down-on-his-luck actor who is struggling with alcoholism and personal demons, and who is hoping to secure a part in a new play that is being produced by the Jordans. Barrymore perfectly captures the tragic inner turmoil of his character, and his performance is both nuanced and powerful.
Wallace Beery plays the role of Dan Packard, a ruthless and wealthy businessman who is trying to secure a merger with one of his competitors, but whose personal life is in shambles due to his affair with his secretary, played by Jean Harlow. Beeryâs performance is a masterclass in portraying a character who is both despicable and humorous at the same time, and he delivers some of the movieâs most memorable one-liners.
Other notable performances include that of Lionel Barrymore as Millicentâs doctor brother, who is also facing his own personal demons, and Madge Evans as Millicent and Oliverâs daughter, who is engaged to a man who is not considered suitable by her parents.
The screenplay, written by Frances Marion and Herman J. Mankiewicz, is a brilliant blend of comedy and drama, and explores the social and economic issues of the day in a smart and insightful manner. The movie is also notable for its attention to detail in terms of sets and costumes, which perfectly capture the glamour and decadence of high society in the 1930s.
The direction of the movie, by George Cukor, is masterful and shows a deft hand at managing the ensemble cast and balancing the various storylines. Cukor is able to bring out the best in each of the actors, and he is especially skilled at bringing out the subtle nuances of their performances.
Overall, Dinner at Eight is a classic Hollywood movie that is both entertaining and thought-provoking. It features an outstanding ensemble cast that delivers some of the most memorable performances of their careers, and a screenplay that is smart, witty, and insightful. The movie is a testament to the talent of the filmmakers and actors of the pre-code era, and it is a must-see for any fan of classic Hollywood cinema.
Dinner at Eight is a 1934 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 51 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.5.