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A Braodway playwright wants to keep on writing plays for his wife to star in, but all she wants is to retire to Connecticut and, following a few 'worlds-apart" discussion of the issue, they get a divorce. The actress marries a banker in a fit of pique only to quickly discover the divorce was not valid. She communicates this information to her not-yet ex-husband and he, to prevent consummation of the invalid marriage rescues her by sending plumbers, waiters, porters, chambermaids, bellhops, desk clerks, exterminators and, finally, a crowd of roistering conventioneers to the suite to ensure no bedtime story would take place there. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
[last lines, at the end of the play's premiere]
It's a smash hit, Eddie -- it'll run five years!
Ladies and gentlemen! This will have the shortest run of any of Mr. Drake's plays...
[gasps from audience]
No, no, no. Five years!
It will be closed in the early spring by an act of God. And I'm sure Mr. Drake hopes it will be... a boy.
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"Bedtime Story" is a quasi-screwball comedy from 1941 that stars Frederic March, Loretta Young, Robert Benchley, Alan Josslyn, and Eve Arden. It's a little miscast but manages to be entertaining.
March and Young play theatrical couple Luke and Jane Drake. He's a playwright and she's a great actress. Jane is planning to retire to a farm she and Luke have bought, and the two plan to spend time doing something besides work. Well, that's what Jane is planning. When she finds out Luke has written another play, she goes ballistic and leaves him. The separation doesn't last long.
Jane comes back, but she discovers that Luke has sold the farm and is putting the money into a new play. She leaves again. For the rest of the film, Luke attempts to win her back by any means necessary. He hires a comedienne (Eve Arden) to pretend to be doing the lead in the play and then in front of Jane, she quits, and Luke "cancels" the show. Things like that. Meanwhile, Jane's engagement to a banker (Josslyn) has been announced.
Cute comedy that becomes a complete free-for-all at the end and is slightly miscast. I say slightly because these two stars are just fine. Young is impossibly beautiful, with gorgeous clothes, and she acquits herself well, as does March as her manipulative playwright husband. With Powell and Loy, however, this could have been fabulous. Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, Joel McCrea and Jean Arthur. Light comedy was not March's forte, and although Young did light comedy, she wasn't as sharp at it as the other actresses mentioned.
This is interesting casting, a little against type, which I'm all for, but it doesn't really come off. Excellent work by Helen Westley as a tell it like it is actress and Eve Arden.
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