A monument to acting and direction at peak form. John Barrymore gives one of his finest performances as a Jewish lawyer who works his way to the top of his profession only to have his gentile wife, Doris Kenyon, leave him. Barrymore was the second choice to play the role after Paul Muni,
who had played the role on stage but feared being typecast. The film is superbly directed by William Wyler, who discarded a musical score, having music only at the opening and closing credits, so that the dramatic weight fell upon the crisp dialogue and Barrymore's spellbinding delivery.
The film was made at breakneck speed, with lines delivered in the rapid-fire manner that was...