Saturday, June 4, 2011

Morning Glory (1933)



“Youth has its hour of glory... but too often it's only a morning glory, the flower that fades before the sun is very high.”

            Morning Glory tells the story about a young, aspiring actress named Eva Lovelace (Katharine Hepburn). She does not have a lot of experience on stage; she only played in some small parts in her local theater in her hometown of Vermont. Eva has traveled to New York like all aspiring young actresses do to try to gain a job on Broadway. She goes to the office of Lewis Easton (Adolph Menjou) who is a theatrical agent looking to cast a new show. Eva waits and waits but is never seen. While waiting she meets a veteran actor named Bob Hedges. She asks Bob if she could be his student and he agrees.
            A few months go by and Bob sees Eva in the window of a coffee shop sitting by herself. Eva has not had any jobs in the past few months but she does not let Bob know that she lies and tells him she has had a few parts here and there. She has been getting by by doing small stock theater and fashion shows.
            Bob takes Eva with him to a party where there will be theater people. At the party there is an important theater critic and an author and a young playwright named Joseph Sheridan (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.). Joseph saw Eva in Easton’s office. He takes a great liking to her. Many of the men in the room want to help Eva’s career. After she does two Shakespeare soliloquies everyone sees she has genuine talent.
            The night of the show the lead actress backs out; in her vanity she asked for more money but when she does not get it she walks out. Joseph runs to get Eva who is the main understudy. Easton has some qualms about Eva playing the role when she has not even rehearsed on the stage even though she knows all the lines.
            Eva winds up stealing the show. Easton wants to sign her to the show for as long as it runs. Eva has gotten everything she has ever dreamed about.
            The ending of the film is not that great it just kind of ends and Katharine Hepburn overacts.
            Katharine Hepburn earned her first Oscar for Morning Glory and it was only her third film of her career. She deserved it she was so good. Eva was the aspiring actress with stars in her eyes. She had a dream to be a great actress and she knew what she wanted and eventually her dream came true. I sometimes find Hepburn to be annoying in some of her roles she has a tendency to overact but for the most part in this film she was perfect. She played Eva with the perfect amount of nervous confidence and ambition. The first scene we see Eva she is looking at the portraits of Sarah Bernhardt, Ethel Barrymore, and John Drew. I could not help but think that if I were to see three portraits of the greatest film actresses hanging in a theater I would want to see Hepburn along with Garbo and Mary Pickford. I would want to look up to them like Hepburn looked up to the theatrical greats. She had such a look of great admiration on her face.
            C. Aubrey Smith played Bob Hedges. I liked him as the older character mentoring and being nice to a young aspiring actress. Adolph Menjou and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. were very good in their parts as well. I liked how all three of the men wanted to help to Eva with her stage career and were not fresh (well that is how I saw it anyway).
            Morning Glory is a good early Katharine Hepburn film. The story is alright but the acting by the three principle cast members is really good. Morning Glory is available on DVD in a pack of the actress. I happened to catch the film when TCM aired it. If the film is ever on TV or you can find it online give it a try.  I found it interesting to see a young Katharine Hepburn (she was twenty-six years old).