"Dinner At Eight" Is Released
Dinner at Eight is a Pre-Code 1933 comedy of manners/drama produced by MGM Studios.
The film was adapted to the screen by Frances Marion and Herman J. Mankiewicz from the play by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber. Produced by David O. Selznick, it was directed by George Cukor.
Based on the Broadway hit by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber, Dinner at Eight is a near-flawless comedy/drama with an all-star cast at the peak of their talents. Social butterfly Mrs. Oliver Jordan (Billie Burke) arranges a dinner party that will benefit the busines of her husband (Lionel Barrymore). Among the invited are a crooked executive (Wallace Beery), who is in the process of ruining Jordan; his wife (Jean Harlow), who is carrying on an affair with a doctor (Edmund Lowe); a fading matinee idol (John Barrymore), who has squandered his fortune on liquor and is romantically involved with the Jordan daughter (Madge Evans); and a venerable stage actress (Marie Dressler), who since losing all her money has become a "professional guest." Nothing goes as planned, due to various suicides, double-crosses, compromises, fatal illness, and servant problems. But dinner is served precisely at eight. The script by Herman Mankiewicz, Frances Marion, and Donald Ogden Stewart is a virtual enclyopedia of witty lines and scenes, right down to the unforgettable closing gag. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide