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Renowned stage actors Basil Underwood and Joyce Arden are partners on and off the stage. An occupational hazard for Basil is that women often fall in love with what they see of him on the stage, he who sometimes indulges that adoration. Basil and Joyce's personal life is passionate and tempestuous characterized by constant fighting and making up, which is often continued on-stage under their breaths. After their latest fight and reconciliation, they decide to get married... for the twelfth time. They are determined to make it to the altar this time. But Basil feels he needs to wipe clean the slate first by doing a favor for a stranger, Henry Grant, whose fiancée has fallen in love with him. With his latest script in hand, Basil vows to make Henry's fiancée fall out of love with him by playing the cad. He finds that it may be more difficult than he first imagined when he finds out that the woman in question is Marcia West, the young woman who professed her love to him earlier in the ... Written by
The first of 4 films Davis and DeHavilland appeared in together. (the others being, "The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex", "In This Our Life", and "Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte." See more »
After Basil ties (off camera) his ascot before breakfast, the tie's spots are showing. Immediately after, same scene, the tie has stripes. Then, in the third scene immediately following, the tie again shows spots. See more »
The plot of "It's Love I'm After", Archie Mayo's 1937 film, is a fairly simple one. A famed Shakespearean actor, Basil Underwood (Howard) is set to marry his longtime co-star Joyce (Davis) after a tumultuous courtship. The night he proposes to Joyce (again this has occurred several times before) a stranger named Marcia (de Havilland) visits his dressing room, professing her love for him, telling him that she has seen all of his work, etc. He finds this intriguing and charming, but on his way to elope with Joyce, Marcia's fiancée Henry (Knowles) comes to visit Basil, asking for his help in curing Marcia's obsession. The two concoct a plan wherein Basil will go to Marcia's house, where her family is throwing a weekend party for guests, and act like a complete ass so that her affection for him will wane, and she will run back into Henry's arms. Basil embarks on his plans with his trusty valet Digges (Blore) with Joyce following close behind to get to the bottom of why she has been ditched again.
The entire reason why I wanted to watch this film is because I had never seen it, and it features two of my favorite actresses of all time. And while de Havilland and Davis were characteristically wonderful (particularly de Havilland, who was positively luminous in this fairly early role), it was two of the male leads, Howard and Blore, who were the most delightful and humorous. Howard, probably best known as the weak Ashley from "Gone with the Wind", is absolutely hilarious in his role as a self-important, over-dramatic, yet earnest actor. I was often reminded of Rex Harrison, particularly of his performance in the sublime film "Unfaithfully Yours". The combination of intelligence, rapier wit and at times completely moronic behavior was a huge winner in this film. This is the first film I've seen Eric Blore act in, but his role of Digges was another hilarious inspiration. His seemingly stuffy (veddy British) demeanor was in complete conflict with the downright ridiculous situations he willingly participated in. The two were wonderful together, and it looked like they were having a great time doing this film.
Director Archie Mayo has directed films as widely diverse as "The Petrified Forest" (Humphrey Bogart) and "A Night in Casablanca" (The Marx Bros.), but it is clear that he has a true gift for comedic direction. The pacing of "It's Love I'm After" was very quick and the dialogue was whip-smart. I enjoyed this film a lot more than I ever expected to, and since it's one that seems to go under the radar often, I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys classic comedy. "It's Love I'm After" gets a very emphatic 8/10 from me.
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