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Service de Luxe

USA 1938
produced by
directed by Rowland V. Lee
starring Constance Bennett, Vincent Price, Charles Ruggles, Helen Broderick, Mischa Auer, Joy Hodges, Frances Robinson, Halliwell Hobbes, Raymond Parker, Frank Coghlan jr, Lawrence Grant, Nina Gilbert, Crauford Kent, Lionel Belmore, Chester Clute, Ben Hall
story by Vera Caspary, Bruce Manning, screenplay by Gertrude Purcell, Leonard Spigelgass, music by Charles Henderson

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Helen Murphy (Constance Bennett) runs an agency that fixes all sorts of things for everybody, from business to private problems, from state affairs to family matters - all for a (high) price of course, a price her mainly male clients are very willing to pay. But while her business is a big success, personally Helen has long grown sick of men who need nothing more than a substitute mother to take care of everything for them, she wants a strong man who can stand on his own two feet ... so it's no wonder she falls in love with inventor Robert (Vincent Price), a strong-willed man who is taking fate into his own hands. Robert falls in love with Helen as well, mistaking her for a homebody (a quality he adores in women), and as long as she doesn't tell him what she does for a living (and she doesn't have to), everything should be perfect, right?

Wrong, because Robert has only come to town to sell his invention, a revolutionary tractor design - but nobody wants to buy. Convinced his design is a failure, Robert has already decided to move back to where he came from, when Helen decides to help him a bit through her agency connections, hooking him up with Robinson (Charles Ruggles), a tractor entrepreneur. Now everything's perfect, right?

Wrong again, because Robinson has a daughter, Audrey (Joy Hodges), who takes a liking in the young and handsome inventor, and before you know it, the two are engaged, rather by accident. When Helen learns about this, she immediately confronts Robert, but then lets it slip that she is the head of her problem-solving agency, upon which Robert's feelings for her cool off almost immediately - or so it seems, because he has long made plans of his own to come out of the whole mess without anyone losing face, plans that involve Robinson's cook (Mischa Auer), who is actually a Russian prince, and in the end, Audrey elopes with the cook/prince just before getting married, and since Robert refuses to not getting married, he just marries Helen on the spot.


So-so comedy vehicle for Constance Bennett, who handles her role quite well and really carries the movie - but the movie's script is little more than a trainwreck: The basic premise is incredibly far-fetched, all characters apart from Bennett's remain disappointingly flat, some comedy scenes (like a lengthy kitchen scene with Charles Ruggles and Mischa Auer) are not integrated into the film at all, and the film's message - that a woman can only find true happiness as a homebody on the side of a strong man - is questionable not only from today's point of view.

By the way, Vincent Price's debut feature, but he only gets the opportunity to shine in one scene, when he pretends to go insane to scare off his fiancée ...


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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In times of uncertainty of a possible zombie outbreak, a woman has to decide between two men - only one of them's one of the undead.


There's No Such Thing as Zombies
Luana Ribeira, Rudy Barrow and Rami Hilmi
special appearances by
Debra Lamb and Lynn Lowry


directed by
Eddie Bammeke

written by
Michael Haberfelner

produced by
Michael Haberfelner, Luana Ribeira and Eddie Bammeke


now streaming at


Amazon UK





Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from