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June Cameron has written a best seller about spinsters: women are men's equals and don't need them for fulfillment. Through a series of errors and misunderstandings, the press believes she's married Tim Sterling, a university instructor she's just met. Her publisher wants to let the mistake go uncorrected for a few weeks so she can write a best seller about being married; Tim cooperates because, in hidebound academia, being married may help with a promotion. The flies in the ointment are June and Tim's instant enmity, Tim's stubbornness, and his girlfriend Marilyn, who may not let the charade play out. There's no way everyone can get what they want. Written by
In a role that was obviously first intended for Cary Grant, Ray Milland through an innocent series of misunderstanding finds everyone with the mistaken impression that he's married to Loretta Young. That would be all right, but the unmarried Young has just written a best selling book that has become a feminist manifesto in its day about how unattached women need not feel inferior. At least one of her readers feels she's a traitor to the breed.
Milland is a doctor, but not of the practicing kind, he's an instructor at a college with hopes of a professorship which is granted to him when the folks in charge of his college think he's now married. He had intended to marry Gail Patrick once again in her typecast part as the other woman. She doesn't like it at all.
On the other hand Reginald Gardiner as Young's publicist is perfectly willing to go with the flow. He's got plans in the wind for a book on the joys of being a newlywed if Young will keep up the charade.
So how will two people who really can't stand each other keep this up? That is the crux of the plot of The Doctor Takes A Wife.
Milland has a drunk scene which he does well and might have led to his casting in The Lost Weekend. He certainly fills Cary Grant's shoes quite nicely in the film. Young also does well as does the rest of the cast.
I also have to single out Frank Sully and Gordon Jones as a pair of amiable lunkhead football players who Milland passes to keep their eligibility. They look to return the favor and see how they do it.
The Doctor Takes A Wife is not a top drawer screwball comedy, but it certainly will amuse.
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