Wednesday, June 9, 2021

On This Day...Merrily We Go to Hell (1932)

 Merrily We Go to Hell was Cary Grant's 3rd full length film and was featured here last year.


Nere-do-well Jerry Corbett finally meets and marries the right girl, Joan Prentiss. Unfortunately their wedded bliss is interrupted when Jerry's play becomes a hit and he hooks up with the wrong woman from his past.

 Joan decides that turn-about is fair play and she picks another man to escort her around to various parties around New York. Eventually Jerry quits drinking and sends his girlfriend packing, just in time for Joan to take him back.


 Sylvia Sidney ... Joan Prentice
 Fredric March ... Jerry Corbett
 Adrianne Allen ... Claire Hempstead
 Richard 'Skeets' Gallagher ... Buck
 George Irving ... Mr. Prentice
 Esther Howard ... Vi
 Florence Britton ... Charlcie
 Charles Coleman ... Richard Damery
 Cary Grant ... Charlie Baxter
 Kent Taylor ... Greg Boleslavsky

Did You Know?

The word "HELL" could not be used in the UK as part of a title, so the UK version was simply re-titled "Merrily We Go to ____".

Jerry mentions his salary is $85 per week, which equates to $1,545 per week in 2020. This was more than four times the average wage in the year this film was released. The $50,000 Jerry is offered to give up Joan would equate to $909,000 in 2020.

An early example of product placement uses a close-up of a bottle of Henessey "Three Star" Brandy as a punch line. The equivalent modern version would be the V.S. (Very Special).


Charlie Baxter: [Toasting] To the ladies. They keep their hearts, and change their minds.
Joan Prentice: Oh, no. We keep our minds, but change our hearts!

Jerry Corbett: [singing] First she gave me ginger bread and then she gave me cake; and then she gave me creme de menthe for meeting her at the gate.

Buck: That's what this country needs, more men who know when they've been wrong.

On Set : Director Dorothy Arzner.

Lobby Cards:

Directed by Dorothy Arzner.
Produced by Paramount Publix.
Running time: 88 minutes.

Artwork by Rebekah Hawley at Studio36

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