DVD Review – Richest Girl in the World

Richest Girl in the World

Director: William Seiter 

Screenplay: Norman Krasna

Minutes: 71

Year: 1934

Score: 7.20

Release: Warner Archive

Flimflam and rope-a-dope. Women, am I right? I jest. What the Richest Girl in the World is a wildly charming romantic comedy that flips a few switches and crafts an engaging experience.

From The Warner Archive

Miriam Hopkins stars as Dorothy Hunter, orphaned by the Titanic and the wealthiest debutante in the world. So wealthy, in fact, that her whereabouts and appearance are a closely guarded secret. So secret that she uses her secretary Sylvia (Fay Wray) as a stand-in. After yet another abortive romance caused by the sheer magnitude of her wealth (“If only you were the second richest girl, that would have been different.” her ex explains), Dorothy aims to see if she can snag true love sans wealth, so she takes on Sylvia’s identity full-time. Encountering a seemingly regular Joe, Tony (Joel McCrea), Dorothy may have found her man, but putting Tony to the test places Dorothy in a triangle – with herself. Meanwhile, the married Sylvia’s husband, Philip (Reginald Denny), is losing patience with her playing single, rich and fancy-free. Hopkins and Wray are a tag-team delight in this fractured fairy-tale romance.

In all fairness when Miriam Hopkins first appears in the film, after we have been introduced to her character I thought about Star Wars: The Phantom Menace; only when considering that one person stands in for the protection of another, not buffoonish humor.

The strengths of the film are in the main cast and the whip crack dialog by the wonderful Norman Krasna, who was nominated for an academy award for Original Story (the precursor to the Original Screenplay). The back-and-forth between Hopkins and Joel McCrea is a realization of how I wish I could communicate and I assume I would not be alone in this.

This DVD is manufactured-on-demand from the Warner Archive. There does not appear to be any clean-up restoration but, at the same time, it looks fine as is. While it wouldn’t hurt I doubt that it would be worth it, financially.  Don’t let this keep your wallet in your pocket as this is a fine little film.

While this film is not streaming you can find a figurative ton of Warner Archive features available on demand at WarnerArchive.com.

Director: 6 – Cinematography: 7 –  Edit: 5 – Parity: 7 – Main performance: 9 – Else performance: 5 – Score: 8 – Sound: 6 – Story: 6 – Script: 8 – Effects: 5 – Design: 8 – Costumes: 8 – Keeps interest: 9 – Lasting: 10