Movie Review: Snowed Under (1936)

Synopsis: Alan, a struggling playwright with a tight deadline, escapes to a remote cabin for some peace and quiet. Instead, a snowstorm traps him inside with his two ex-wives and an ex-girlfriend.

Who's in it? The movie stars George Brent, Genevieve Tobin, Glenda Farrell, Patricia Ellis and Frank McHugh.

Review: I have had this film in my library for a couple weeks but never could motivate myself to watch it. However, since we are currently having snow and dangerous wind chills outside, it seemed like a good fit this morning so I ended up watching it while everyone else was still in bed. It ended up being an OK film.

The plot itself, while a little predictable (as most comedies are) was entertaining. It was fun to watch an otherwise quiet cabin become a madhouse in a matter of a few minutes as Alan (Brent) is forced to confront not only his three exes but a lawyer and deputy sheriff seeking to put him in jail for unpaid alimony. It created just enough chaos to make it seem impossible for him to complete the final act he was working on.

I especially liked how the movie didn't necessarily play him as a victim and, instead, the women that were sharing the cabin with him all had legitimate beefs. For example, it was obvious his first wife, Alice (Tobin), still cared for him and only divorced him because he was unfaithful while his ex-girlfriend (Ellis) was just a school girl who he took advantage of. Even his second ex-wife, Daisy (Farrell), though played a bit as a bad guy, seemed damaged by him.

In fact, as the movie progressed, I found I was less interested in Alan and more interested in watching Alice take control of an impossible situation and work to help him complete his play even though she had absolutely nothing to gain from it. Since Alan definitely didn't deserve her, I was curious if it would result in them getting back together or if she would decide she still didn't need him.

My biggest complaint about this movie is there is an awful lot of yelling throughout. And, when I say there is a lot of yelling, I mean the characters seem to spend a lot more time yelling at each other than they do having a normal conversation. This did, in my opinion, detract from the overall quality of the film, partly because I felt the need to keep turning the volume down. As a result, I think I would have really hated this movie had I been forced to watch it at a theater.

Final Opinion: The movie would have been a little more enjoyable had there been less yelling but, overall, it was a funny film that I did wind up enjoying. I'd recommend watching it, but only if the volume is turned down a bit.

My Grade: B+


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