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Max and his father are both looking to marry wealthy women. The task would be far easier if either one of them had any money of their own. Max decides on Martha, but Martha says no when he says that he is poor as she admits she is also. So she accepts the proposal of Sir Kelvin, but changes her mind by the next day. When Florian tries to win money gambling for Max's wedding, he loses a bundle. When Max finds out about the debt, he decides to marry the wealthy Lady Joan to keep Florian out of jail. But Max is not in love with Lady Joan. Written by
Tony Fontana <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Free And Easy which starred Robert Cummings and Ruth Hussey had its origins from an Ivor Novello play The Truth Game which after a run in London made its American debut on Broadway and ran for 107 performances in the middle Depression years of 1930-31. Novello was like Noel Coward both as a performer and creator and he starred in the original Broadway and London run.
The film does have a Noel Coward like quality to it and with a bit of his wit, the proceedings might have been livened up. Robert Cummings is also a bit to American and that stands out in this cast that was mostly of the British Hollywood colony.
Cummings and Nigel Bruce play a father and son team of free wheeling bounders looking to marry wealthy. Cummings sets his sites on American widow Ruth Hussey who looks like money and to Europeans all Americans do. But she turns out to be looking for a second and wealthy marriage herself. Cummings then moves on to the plain Jane daughter of Sir C. Aubrey Smith played by Judith Anderson who gives a very touching performance, so far removed from some of the Gothic horror roles she's mostly known for. Still Cummings can't get Hussey out of his mind nor she him.
Next to Anderson the best performance in the film is that of Reginald Owen as the wealthy blustering oaf Hussey does have her cap set for. Owen steals the film whenever he's on screen.
There was an earlier screen version of The Truth Game called But The Flesh Is Weak that MGM did back in 1932 with Robert Montgomery. Not having seen it I can well believe that Montgomery who is as American as Cummings would have been far better cast in the lead. Free And Easy is an all right screen comedy, but could have used a much wittier script for the kind of film it is.
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