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When the owner of the New York Globe-Leader dies without making a will, the paper is inherited by his only living relative, an "old maid schoolteacher" from Nebraska. Martha Aldrich, along with her Aunt Lou, heads for New York, where managing editor Ken Morley's attitude towards women reporters prompts Martha into taking a reporter's job on her own newspaper. Then she proceeds to prove she can be as good a reporter as any man. Written by
Ron Kerrigan <email@example.com>
The best thing about MY DEAR MISS ALDRICH is that it gives MAUREEN O'SULLIVAN a chance to prove that she was not only very pretty but a capable enough actress to ensure that in the future she would be rewarded with more leading lady roles worthy of her charming presence. Not so. MGM gave her this chance to shine briefly and then tossed her back into secondary parts in big films until she was cast as Jane in the hugely popular Tarzan series.
But the film itself appears to have been hastily put together on a modest budget with some good one-liners thrown to EDNA MAY OLIVER, who of course is a sheer delight as Miss Atherton, presumed at first to be the heiress who has inherited a big city newspaper. Of course the real owner is her niece, and when the real owner's identity becomes known to the hero, the story becomes a battle of the sexes with Maureen out to show him that his sexist attitude towards women needs some sort of reformation.
If the script and direction had been a little more sophisticated, this might have earned a better reputation as a screwball comedy in an era when the major studios were churning out things like FOUR'S A CROWD and LIBELED LADY. As it is, it's harmless fluff that gives the spectator a good look at Maureen O'Sullivan at her loveliest, billed over Walter Pigeon who takes full advantage of his role. They both play with assurance as romantic leads, but Pigeon's fans will be delighted to see that his flair for this kind of comedy even existed. He was cast in much more serious roles for the main part of his career.
Obviously produced as a programmer for the lower half of a double bill, this has its moments, thanks chiefly to Edna May Oliver's dominating way with stealing a scene. Her tart remarks are what helps make the film click at all.
Spelling note: I've tried to correct the spelling of Walter Pigeon's name, but it keeps on being switched back to Pigeon by the spell check apparently written into this review by either my computer or the IMDb site. There's a "d" before the "g", for anyone who's curious.
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