Susan Miller works behind the girdle counter in a department store and dreams about the beautiful clothes and glamour she can never hope to have. Enter May Worthington and Warren, a pair of...
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Susan Miller works behind the girdle counter in a department store and dreams about the beautiful clothes and glamour she can never hope to have. Enter May Worthington and Warren, a pair of con artists who pose as the mother and uncle of a pretty girl in order to separate millionaires from their money. They convince Susan she has an opportunity to fulfill all her dreams, and the trio heads for Palm Beach. Susan meets John Wheeler who says he is shopping for a sailboat. Believing that he is a millionaire, Warren and May sell him a boat that doesn't belong to them, and make off with his $15,000 life savings. Looking for greener pastures, they work themselves into the family of wealthy Tod Fenwick, who falls for Sue, posing as "Linda Worthington". But John shows up as a guest of Fenwick and he tells "Linda", not knowing she was part of the scam, that he has a detective after the fake captain that sold him the boat. John admits that he is not a millionaire but only a $65-a-week clerk. He ... Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Say, are you really millionaires?
[Warren and Maybelle burst into laughter]
Well, there seems to be something missing.
Mrs. Maybelle Worthington:
Just the millions, and they can't rule you out for a technicality.
You see, nature played a little trick on us: we should have been born with blue blood, so we have devoted our entire life to correcting this... biological error.
What do you do? If you're not, what are you?
Mrs. Maybelle Worthington:
Well, we're sort of an excess profits tax. To criticize us would be unamerican.
We are merely bees ...
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Gene Tierney wants "Rings on Her Fingers" in this 1942 comedy starring Henry Fonda, Laird Cregar and Spring Byington. Tierney is a shopgirl drafted by Byington and Warren to help them con rich men out of their money. One of their marks is Fonda, with whom Tierney falls in love. Problems arise, and that's putting it mildly.
Mamoulian loved scripts that contained characters with dual identities such as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and The Mark of Zorro, so "Rings on Her Fingers" must have appealed to him. It has Tierney, a New York salesgirl posing as an heiress, Fonda, an accountant who at first gives the impression he's a rich man, Cregar, posing as a yacht owner, and Byington, posing as Tierney's wealthy mother.
I liked this charming comedy, but I have to take issue with calling it screwball. It's played too straight. Fonda creates a wonderful character - a sincere, caring person who wants to live life in the present and not live as others - lock up their money and, in so doing, lock up their lives. His internalized approach to acting did not lend itself to comedy. Tierney is gorgeous, and a good actress, but comedy wasn't her thing. Picture the airport scenes with Irene Dunne and Cary Grant, and you get the point.
Laird Cregar is wonderfully bombastic and funny as the conniver Warren
what a loss to filmdom that he died so young; and Spring Byington
does a great job as his partner.
Henry Fonda never forgave Darryl F. Zanuck for forcing him into a seven-year contract in order to do The Grapes of Wrath; though Mamoulian was a great director, I think Fonda probably felt misused here. Opposite a pro like Stanwyck, he fared in comedy much better. Tierney is lovely, though.
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