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When Jane Norton inadvertently discovers that Ken, her husband of two years, is dallying with his beautiful secretary, she decides to turn the tables by applying for a job as secretary to philandering architect Barney Dexter, an associate of her husband. Despite cynical advice from her friend Blanche, a three-time divorcée, Jane stays one step ahead of the amorous Dexter and uses Ken's jealousy to get him to renounce his extra-marital indiscretions. Written by
Gabe Taverney (firstname.lastname@example.org)
A very poor script makes this one of Power's least enjoyable films
This comedy is a watchable time-passer and nothing more. It's really amazing, as Tyrone Power was a hugely popular actor at the time and 1939 is known to cinema historians as probably the best year for Hollywood films ever. Well, to every rule, there must be exceptions. Now I am not saying this is a bad film, but it certainly isn't particularly good thanks to a rather poor script. Also, while I think one of the reviewers was a tad too harsh on Power, I do agree that Cary Grant could have probably made this film work a bit better--Tyrone just isn't a great actor in this style of film.
DAY-TIME WIFE begins with Linda Darnell and Power as husband and wife. By the way their apartment looks, Power's job must make him a ton of money and you'd think they would be wildly happy (I know I would have if I was married to Darnell!). However, Power is not a particularly good husband and appears to be cheating on her. Now here's where it gets weird. Darnell is positive that he's lying about working late nights and there is every reason to assume that he's cheating. So what does she do? She gets a job as a secretary and investigates what lecherous bosses want from their comely employees. In other words, after getting a job with a real heel (Warren William in a role rather typical for him), she'll learn the tricks secretaries know to attract men. Why secretaries are suddenly experts, why Darnell is so forgiving of Power and why she goes to so much trouble just doesn't make sense. She is a lousy role model for women, that's for sure!! Later in the film, it turns out that Darnell's boss and Power have a working relationship and this is bad because she doesn't want her husband to know that she's working. So, there are a few kooky times they almost meet in the work place and ultimately they do meet--when she goes out with William for a night on the town as well as some hanky-panky....and Power and his secretary come along for the fun.
Overall, a silly and rather sleazy plot that makes little sense but somehow works due to the usual 20th Century-Fox polish and decent acting from Darnell and William. As for Power, this is a sad episode and was fortunately soon forgotten. He was just so much better in dramas or swashbucklers than in this sort of silly fluff. His next film, JOHNNY APOLLO, was a dandy film and thankfully he was soon back to form.
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