Watch: Dinner at Eight 1933 123movies, Full Movie Online – Millicent Jordan is pre-occupied with the plans she is making for a high-class dinner party. Her husband Oliver is in failing health, and he is also worried because someone is trying to buy up the stock in his shipping business – even his old friend Carlotta wants to sell her stock. Hoping to get help from businessman Dan Packard, he persuades Millicent, against her wishes, to invite Packard and his wife to the dinner. As Oliver’s problems get worse, Millicent is increasingly quick-tempered because the plans for the party are not going smoothly. As the time for the dinner approaches, it appears that the hosts and the guests will all have plenty on their minds..
Plot: An ambitious New York socialite plans an extravagant dinner party as her businessman husband, Oliver, contends with financial woes, causing a lot of tension between the couple. Meanwhile, their high-society friends and associates, including the gruff Dan Packard and his sultry spouse, Kitty, contend with their own entanglements, leading to revelations at the much-anticipated dinner.
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|7.5/10 Votes: 8,477|
|91% | RottenTomatoes|
|N/A | MetaCritic|
|N/A Votes: 81 Popularity: 6.498 | TMDB|
Excellent. Part of my TCM Jean Harlow 4-pack, and the bonus feature-length doc on Harlow’s short life and career is exemplary. Highly recommended to any Pre-Code connoisseurs–and I know you’re out there…
One of great director George Cukor’s best films, Dinner at Eight is a prime example of a Pre-Code era classic, and an excellent star vehicle for the combined multifarious talents of Marie Dressler, Wallace Beery, Brothers Barrymore (Lionel and John), Jean Harlow, and Billie Burke, among others. Coupled with the great acting is the offbeat and alternately dramatic and humorous story line of the flighty hostess who plans an extravagant dinner party for a wealthy and highly-esteemed British couple who never do show up. The audience is introduced one by one to the various guests, as well as the host and hostess, and by the conclusion of the film, the viewer knows how and why each of them has chosen whether or not to accept the invitation, with each character’s situation shown in an intimate, behind-the-scenes manner.
Would I recommend? Yes, but please, don’t go into this thinking you’re in for a hyper, all-out screwball comedy. It’s not. It’s a comedy/drama leaning more toward the latter, and it’s very…different. That’s all.
Dinner With The Jordans
Dinner at Eight is MGM’s screen adaption of the George S. Kaufman-Edna Ferber play of the same name that went immediately to the screen upon completion of its 232 performance run on Broadway. None of the cast from Broadway made it to Hollywood, but MGM put together one stellar cast of its own.
The central figure in this American drama of manners is Billie Burke who plays Mrs. Millicent Jordan, society woman whose sole concern is seeing that a formal dinner she’s given comes off just right. All around her including her own family and the lives of her guests are in crisis. Her husband, Lionel Barrymore has health and business problems. Those business problems are being caused both the Depression and Wallace Beery who’s trying to take over Barrymore’s family shipping business. Of course Beery’s concerns are domestic, his wife Jean Harlow’s been carrying on with her doctor, Edmund Lowe who in turn has got nurse Karen Morley on the side as well.
Also on the Jordan domestic front, Barrymore and Burke’s daughter Madge Evans is about to throw over her fiancé Phillips Holmes because she’s gotten herself involved with a has been actor with a substance abuse problem, John Barrymore. Through all of this Burke flounces her way through like a female version of Clifton Webb’s Elliot Templeton from The Razor’s Edge whose sole concern was gossip and making sure his clothes properly fit.
Rounding out this cast and in fact first billed is Marie Dressler who plays an old musical comedy star who Lionel as a youth crushed out on big time. She’s a wise old bird, probably could give some good advice if more people would confide in her. This was Dressler’s next to last film and they don’t get better than this. She’s got the final and best line of the film when she comments on Jean Harlow’s prospects for the’ future.
Frank Capra wanted Dressler to play Apple Annie in his first real hit film, Lady for a Day earlier in the year. The part went to May Robson who is also in the movie as Billie Burke’s cook. It was interesting to have them in the same film, I only wish they had a scene together.
The best performance in the film goes to John Barrymore who probably drew from his own self destructive impulses to create the character of Larry Renault. He’s an over the hill motion picture actor who apparently only Madge Evans loves any more. No one will put up with his king size ego when they’re accompanied with king size benders. John Barrymore created a whole group of self destructors in his career, several films of which I’ve seen recently like Counsellor at Law, Beau Brummel, and Grand Hotel to accompany Dinner at Eight. Barrymore is nothing short of brilliant. See how he goes to pieces when his press agent Lee Tracy finally tells him he’s washed up and Tracy’s washed up with him.
George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber are a pair of unusual collaborators. Both members of the famous Algonquin Round Table, Dinner at Eight is unusual for both. The usual Ferber saga about empire builders is certainly not Dinner at Eight. Lionel Barrymore’s empire is already built and its tottering. And Kaufman’s satire the kind you find in works like I’d Rather Be Right and The Man Who Came To Dinner is muted here to a large degree.
This was George Cukor’s first film under his new MGM contract where producer David O. Selznick brought him when they both left RKO. It was an auspicious debut for Cukor. Cukor got spot on performances from his cast.
Dinner at Eight is dated however, still excellent. People just don’t put on tuxedos for dinner any more, today’s audience might find that strange. But it was a more elegant time.
Original Language en
Runtime 1 hr 51 min (111 min) (Turner library print)
Director George Cukor
Writer Frances Marion, Herman J. Mankiewicz, George S. Kaufman
Actors Marie Dressler, John Barrymore, Wallace Beery
Country United States
Production Company N/A
Sound Mix Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Aspect Ratio 1.37 : 1
Laboratory American Film Technologies Inc., USA, MGM Studio Lab, USA (prints)
Film Length (11 reels)
Negative Format 35 mm
Cinematographic Process Spherical
Printed Film Format 35 mm