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90 Ratings

Merrily We Go to Hell

Directed by Dorothy Arzner
United States, 1932
Drama, Comedy, Romance


Ne’re-do-well Jerry Corbett finally meets and marries the right girl, Joan Prentiss. Unfortunately their wedded bliss is interrupted when Jerry’s play becomes a hit and he hooks up with the wrong woman from his past. Joan decides that turn-about is fair play and she picks another man to escort her.

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Merrily We Go to Hell Directed by Dorothy Arzner

Critics reviews

One might persuasively argue that Arzner’s career peaked with Merrily We Go to Hell. Arzner was at her best as a Pre-Code director, unhampered by the Production Code that would become so rigidly enforced from 1934 onward, and change the face of American filmmaking altogether.
February 13, 2017
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Arzner is represented at Anthology by her excellent Merrily We Go to Hell (1932), titled for the salutation that Fredric March’s bibulous newspaperman-cum-playwright repeatedly offers before taking his first of very many drinks.
September 16, 2016
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Dance, Girl, Dance (1940) is often considered [Arzner’s] classic but Merrily We Go to Hell doesn’t get the love it deserves. A pre-Code drama dealing with real adult issues and pain (an open marriage, alcoholism, what one will do for love), its pairing of the lovelorn, though never pathetic heiress (Sylvia Sidney) married to the dipsomaniacal, adulterous playwright (Fredric March) is sublime, complicated and emotional…
September 07, 2015

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