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Sandhog Jim Ryan is suspended from his job helping to dig a tunnel beneath a river because of an incident while being photographed for a story by Katherine Grant. Feeling responsible, Katherine hires Ryan to assist her during his suspension. She is elegant and sophisticated, while he is outspoken and down-to-earth. This combination leads to conflicts, and ultimately romance. Written by
Screwball comedy has MacMurray and Colbert floundering in mud...
Physical comedy of the kind we call screwball is evident throughout NO TIME FOR LOVE where Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray play a couple from opposite social circles. She's a magazine photographer, he's a sandhog working in a tunnel beneath the Hudson River. She's attracted to him at first sight but doesn't seem to know it--and we know he's going to fall for her after a bunch of mishaps happen.
The mishaps are piled one on top of another in typical screwball fashion with nobody making much sense. Certainly MacMurray's character is about as obnoxious and arrogant as any leading man Colbert was ever set up against, and she acts pretty irresponsibly in that tunnel where she gets up to her neck in trouble and mud--lots of mud.
But somehow, it's all very watchable with a cast that knows exactly how to play this sort of thing. Claude Binyon had a way with writing slight romantic comedies and he gives Colbert and MacMurray some bright lines to work with. Others fortunate enough to get some good moments are Richard Haydn, Ilka Chase, June Havoc and Rod Cameron. If you look closely you can spot Tom Neal in the background as one of the sandhogs.
It doesn't make a lot of sense when you stop to think about it, but it's fun while it lasts, thanks mainly to MacMurray and Colbert who can do this kind of romp effortlessly.
Funniest bit: As MacMurray exits in final scene carrying Colbert like a caveman over his back, Richard Haydn says: "I'll drop by for supper tomorrow night." "Not tomorrow night," says Colbert. Wink. Wink.
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