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Schizophrenic writing dominates "Lucky Night," a 1939 film starring Robert Taylor and Myrna Loy. Loy is Cora, an heiress who gives it all up for the excitement of looking for a job and living on her own; she meets up with unemployed and flat broke Dick (Taylor). The two of them embark on a wild night of gambling and winning, where everything they touch turns to gold. Pretty soon they're in love and, to the horror of Loy's father, tie the knot.
This film starts out like gangbusters, like a lost treasure - a fast- paced, deft comedy with wonderful dialogue and the two Golden Age stars playing off of each other beautifully. Suddenly, it all stops and gets very serious with bizarre dialogue. Cora wants to be safe and happy with home and hearth; Dick still craves the excitement. She leaves him.
The film picks up a little toward the end, but what a disappointment. Perhaps the marital problem storyline would have been fine, but not after the way this film started; it's too much of a let-down. Not only that, but Taylor's character starts talking in absolute riddles. Somebody at MGM was asleep at the wheel. This is the type of thing that under Thalberg would never have been released as it was.
Like Tyrone Power, Taylor gets short shrift in his acting because of those amazing looks, but jealous critics (mostly men probably) failed to notice that, like Power, he had a beautiful, rich speaking voice and loads of charm. Less ambitious and less complicated than Power, Taylor pretty much took what MGM handed him. "Lucky Night" is one example. Despite the script, he shows his affinity for comedy. Loy is lovely as the heiress, but thankfully, both these actors appeared in better films.
"Lucky Night" coulda been a contender; instead, it's that rarity in film history - a bad movie from the magic year 1939.
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