Fantasizing he is an after hours womanizer, stuff-shirted lawyer Edward Everett Horton (as Richard "Dickie" Smith) flirts with new secretary Patsy Ruth Miller (as Kitty "Minty" Minter). Tipped off by boozing butler Spencer Charters (as Andrews), Ms. Miller sets Horton up on a date with film actress friend Laura La Plante (as Diane O'Dare). The women hope to Horton will provide Ms. La Plante with a cheap divorce from vaudeville husband "Felix, the Great Zero" (also played by Horton), for non-performance of duties. Lawyer Horton agrees to let "Felix" impersonate him at home, so he can keep dates with the women.
But, wife Esther Ralston (as Madeline) comes home predictably er, unexpectedly
Leading man Horton acts his two roles successfully, in and out of "split screen" effect. Interestingly, he gets three leading ladies who were bigger stars during the "silent" years. Miller is charming and too briefly on-screen. Ms. Ralston appears modern and sexy. La Plante has the meatier part. And, matronly mother-in-law Maude Eburne (as Mrs. Mantel) steals scenes from everyone. The old film is sprinkled with amusing sexual innuendos. The twin Hortons are neatly directed by Russell Mack, but someone needed give the viewer some more differentiation between the two, especially during the masquerade at the house.
****** Lonely Wives (2/15/31) Russell Mack ~ Edward Everett Horton, Laura La Plante, Esther Ralston, Patsy Ruth Miller
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