Ann Carver's Profession (1933) **
Fay Wray, hot from King Kong, is beautifully styled, dressed and photographed in one of her biggest and showiest leads: too bad there weren't more like this to propel her to real stardom.
She's a hotshot lawyer whose demanding job and high media profile eventually wear down her initially adoring husband, former college football star and now so-so architect Gene Raymond. They split up after he becomes a nightclub crooner, but she must defend him when he is accused of murdering a floozy who has, in fact, strangled herself accidentally while drunk!
As fascinating a round-up of pre-Code elements as that synopsis suggests, the film is an extraordinary time-capsule: almost every scene brings some new demonstration of the social and attitudinal gulf between its age and our own. Robert Riskin - whom Wray would later marry - contributes a typically busy screenplay, in which social themes alternate with domestic melodrama.
Fay is, perhaps, not quite at home in the courtroom scenes, and her self-loathing address to the jury at the climax must have seemed gratuitous even at the time, but the domestic sequences with Raymond play as delightfully as ever, and Frank Albertson is his usual good value in support.