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William A. Seiter
Jerry Marvin, a talented musician and composer, wallows in drunken self-pity after he is divorced by his wife Babe. Along comes new love Susan, who rescues Jerry and provides him with fresh inspiration to complete his trumpet concerto. He performs it, it's a hit, and the jubilant Jerry and Susan plan to marry. There's just one hitch: Now Babe wants him back... and the unscrupulous ex-wife will stop at nothing to recapture her man. Written by
Dan Navarro <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Melvyn Douglas, talented trumpeter, stumbles drunkenly into somewhat stuck-up professor Ruth Hussey's life. She gets Douglas to complete his concerto and clean himself up, but what will she do when estranged wife Ellen Drew returns to the scene, and becomes OUR WIFE?
A lot of pictures made around 1940 -- after the screwball comedy had exhausted itself -- are billed as comedies, but do not seem intended to be terribly funny. This one, made by John M. Stahl, (best known for Leave Her to Heaven and a couple of sudsers remade by Douglas Sirk), has a script that might have one time been a howler, but, by the time Stahl is done with it, plays as a somewhat daft woman's picture with occasional "hilarious" drunk moments. The result, while interesting, is somewhat off, mostly because it takes half the picture to develop the dramatic situation that is the meat of the show, and because said dramatic situation resolves itself way too easily at the end.
But this picture does deserve to be seen. Stahl's very smooth style, frighteningly dispassionate style is distinctive, allows the actors a lot of space, and derives its tension from the acting, rather than flashy camera work or lighting. And the character played by Ruth Hussey is an interesting variant on the spinster professor, and is really humanized by the way Hussey portrays her. Also, a key moment from Leave Her To Heaven is actually foreshadowed in this film (and shot in rather the same way).
If they had only done away with the har de har har drunk moments and the last minute or so, which totally disrupts the movie's tone...
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