It's Love I'm After (1937)

Approved  |   |  Comedy  |  20 November 1937 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 1,321 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 6 critic

An actor of the stage finds himself pursued by a lovestruck fan while trying to patch up a tempestuous relationship with his actress lover.


(as Archie L. Mayo)


(screen play), (original story "Gentlemen After Midnight")
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Marcia West
Henry Grant
Eric Blore ...
George Barbier ...
William West
Gracie Kane
Aunt Ella
Georgia Caine ...
Mrs. Kane (as Georgia Craine)
Veda Ann Borg ...
E.E. Clive ...
First Butler
Valerie Bergere ...
Joyce's Maid
Sarah Edwards ...
Mrs. Hinkle
Thomas Pogue ...
Mr. Hinkle
Grace Field ...
Mrs. Babson (as Grace Fields)


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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

affair | See All (1) »


The tops in topsy-turvy romance! See more »




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

20 November 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gentlemen After Midnight  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 »


Joyce Arden: If you knew what I was thinking, you'd shrivel where you stand.
See more »


Referenced in This Is Your Life: Bette Davis (1971) See more »

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User Reviews

Their Only Film Comedy Together
14 May 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Bette Davis made too few film comedies. The only ones that come to mind are this film, THE BRIDE CAME C.O.D., THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER, JUNE BRIDE, ALL ABOUT EVE (yes, it is actually a witty comedy), and POCKETFUL OF MIRACLES. There probably are others that have slipped my mind. In MR. SKEFFINGTON, Fanny does have a flibbertigibbet type of character, frequently breaking off luncheon dates with an unseen female friend, and annoying people with her selfish problems (the scene with George Coulouris as Dr. Byles is hysterical for his justifiable explosion). But most of the film is serious about her mistreatment of the loving Job Skeffington. Of the comedies I listed, ALL ABOUT EVE and JUNE BRIDE are best for script and performance highlights for Davis. Monty Wooley, Mary Wickes, Jimmy Durante, and Anne Sheridan are far funnier in THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER. The comics who control POCKETFUL OF MIRACLES are Thomas Mitchell, Edward Everett Horton, and (best of all) Peter Falk. THE BRIDE CAME C.O.D. is Davis's best film with Warner Brothers co-superstar Jimmy Cagney, and it is her best piece of slapstick - but she hated it because she spent several scenes removing cactus needles from her rear end (literally).

IT'S LOVE I'M AFTER is very funny, but it is also interesting as the last film Davis did with Leslie Howard. They had been together in her first great dramatic hit, OF HUMAN BONDAGE, and then had played the tragic, late blooming lovers, in THE PETRIFIED FOREST. This is their only comedy after all the earlier tragedy (Davis dies in BONDAGE, and Howard is gunned down by Humphrey Bogart in FOREST). The three films should be shown together by some film society.

They play a famous "Lunt and Fontaine" or "Southern and Marlowe" acting pair from the stage, who can't keep their egos from constantly clashing. Davis, at the start of the film, is performing a love scene with Howard, and has taken the trouble to eat onions (lots of 'em) before they go on. He goes through the scene without revealing how he detests her (at present) though he manages to whisper to her his true feelings. Only one year earlier Howard had played Romeo in M.G.M.'s production of the Shakespeare play, with Norma Shearer as Juliet. Many critics felt that Howard and Shearer, no matter how well they emoted, were too old for the parts (which call for teenage types). I defy you to even accept their performances in the balcony scene, etc., after seeing Howard and Davis in this film.

Due to the script, Davis disappears for too many scenes, while Howard has to try to undue the schoolgirl crush of Olivia de Havilland. He does this, assisted by Eric Blore, by being boorish and demanding at the home of de Havilland's father, George Barbier. It does not work according to every plan Howard hatches, although de Havilland does managed to lose interest in him at the end (with the aid of Davis, and Howard's pompous ego). The film works pretty well as a comedy. May I recommend the sequence involving Blore trying to give a signal to his boss, and finding himself at war with some birds. Leslie was quite good in the film, but Eric was ... well Eric Blore was always the dependable comic actor.

14 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Great gay subtext clay-brown
Is this movie at all available on VHS or DVD??? richard-ask
NO gay subtext skwrpl
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