Sylvia Scarlet (1935) Film Review B-

DIRECTOR: George Cukor
BOTTOM LINE:  Hepburn plays a female con artist who dresses as a boy to avoid the police. With gay and trans themes, Hepburn’s turn as Sylvia/Sylvester Scarlett set the bar impossibly high for actors brave enough to consider working in Queer Cinema for years to come. Unfortunately, the movie is not very good, and Cukor’s direction seems off. It was one of the great financial disasters of the 1930s, and it almost brought RKO to its knees. With “Bringing Up Baby,” exhibitors labeled Hepburn box office poison. It marked the first of four Hepburn/Grant pairings. The complete list is as follows:
  • Sylvia Scarlett (1935, George Cukor)
  • Bringing Up Baby (1938, Howard Hawks)
  • Holiday (1938, George Cukor)
  • The Philadelphia Story (1940, George Cukor)

There is a gradual improvement, with each movie being better than the previous one. This progression culminates in the triumph that is “The Philadelphia Story,” Cukor’s masterpiece and Hepburn’s (and Grant’s – with “Notorious” and “North By Northwest”) greatest performance.

Adapted from the novel by Compton MacKenzie.

POST TITLE: 60 Queer Films Made Under the Hays Code (1934-1967) – TheBrownees
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SUBCATEGORY: Queer Film
STREAMING: Amazon Prime and Apple TV+

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