|Index||9 reviews in total|
Joan Fontaine was so often cast in moody, introspective roles in somber dramas that her prowess in comedy was seldom explored. Here it certainly is--she gets the chance to play a woman who is entirely different in the eyes of three men who loved her in the past (George Brent, Don deFore and Dennis O'Keefe)--and are now telling their stories to the man about to marry her (Walter Abel). In flashback we see Susan as a plain-Jane who becomes an actressy type, an intellectual and a glamorous sophisticate. It's a pleasure to see Fontaine enjoying herself in a demanding comedy role for a change--with excellent support from her co-stars, particularly George Brent as an ex-husband. Rarely shown on TV, it's one you have to catch on one of the cable channels and well worth viewing.
Joan Fontaine is wonderful in this delightful comedy about a woman who appears to attract men like flies!!! She is about to run off with the man she loves, when he discovers all the so-called 'loose ends' that she has left behind. I am a big fan of Fontaine and this film is one of her best. Watch the way she wraps each man around her little finger without even realising it!! Comes highly recommended.
Joan Fontaine, before 1945, only made a few comedies, and they were B pictures. In this movie, she changes her personality with every new man she meets. She met four men, and she changed her personality four times. Each time she is a different type of woman: shy, movie star, social, and intellectual. She is very funny in each of the roles as she tries to readjust to the new life, and try to find the right man. She finally ends up with her first husband, but goes through a lot to find out he is the right one. Very funny, I recommend it.
This is indeed a treat - a Joan Fontaine comedy. We so often see her in deeply serious romances that we were unprepared for her charming and delightful light touch in this very amiable comedy. She is quite fine here - superbly adept in a comic performance that was quite worthy of an Oscar nom. The Original Story did garner a nomination but equally deserving was the screenplay itself and the quite funny and inventive musical score by Frederick Hollander. Susan is about to embark on a second marriage (Walter Abel) who is hearing conflicting stories about her from her first husband (George Brent) and two almost-husbands (Don DeFore and Dennis O'Keefe). The three sit down and tell their stories, each revealing a new take on Susan as she goes from honest and innocent country girl to actress against her will to one who knows how to cleverly lie her way through life. However, those who taught her to lie are the unsuspecting victims of this talent at later points. It's all quite frothy with fine work from all involved and very worth seeking out. Like a lot of Fontaine films it is quite rare - if it comes on your local channel- tape it.
Joan Fontaine shines brilliantly in one of her rare comedies. She plays Susan who is pursued by four different men, each with distinct personalities. As she adapts to each of her suitors personalities, we see a different Susan and a delightful Joan Fontaine. I highly recommend this film to anyone who enjoys witty dialogue, a brisk paced film. super performances by a supporting cast, and most especially anyone who loves clever story lines. Edith Head designed the clothes Ms. Fontaine wears and they are to die for. It is not available on video, so tape it when it comes on cable. Every once in a while you can purchase it on Ebay. Joan Fontaine is simply great in this movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Oh, oh, oh what a girl! OK, so those aren't the lyrics to "If You Knew
Susie", but that song does open this 1945 screwball comedy, a late
entry in the genre that had ended after a few early 40's William Powell
& Myrna Loy gems. Yes, Hollywood did make these on occasion, mostly
with Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. Romantic comedies going
forward after World War II mostly were either fantasies ("The Bishop's
Wife"), political ("State of the Union") or precursors to television
sitcoms ("Father of the Bride"). Hollywood still loved farce, hence
actors like Bob Hope, Martin & Lewis, Joan Davis and Lucille Ball. This
one, however, utilizes a bit of topical to tell its story; Susan
actually appears to be more than one person, sort of a comical "Three
Faces of Eve". And as played by Joan Fontaine, you're going to get more
than just the wide-eyed sweet girl she normally played, as she drives
at least three men crazy with her fickleness.
The Oscar Nominated screenplay gives us a story seen through flashback as a seeming support group of men tell their experiences with the pretty young woman. George Brent, an ex-husband, is a Broadway producer who got made her a star and is the focus of much of the storyline. Walter Abel, Dennis O'Keefe and Don DeFore are the other men of completely different personalities who becomes victims of Susie's obvious indecisiveness. Rita Johnson adds another viper character to her credits, playing a jealous actress who gets Fontaine drunk on her opening night, causing Brent to want to break her leg rather than wish Fontaine to (for good luck) break hers. A funny scene of a stereotypical New York married couple arguing in the park helps get Fontaine together with one of her many men. The script sometimes gets a little too chatty, but overall, it offers lots of humor.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A seldom seen film that will delight fans of Joan Fontaine. Directed by
William Seiter, and based on a story of Thomas Monroe, this Paramount
release of 1945 showed up on a cable channel not long ago. Not having
seen it, we decided to take a look. This was a vehicle for Ms.
Fontaine, a beautiful actress that enjoyed a popularity during those
Susan Darrell, a beautiful actress is the object of the admiration, and perhaps love of four different men. They include Roger, a theater producer, Mike, a man with some money made in lumber, Bill, a somewhat successful writer and Richard, a political figure. Roger is the one that really loved her and made her a star. Susan being an honest girl from Rhode Island, didn't fit in his theatrical world. Her frankness gets her in all kinds of problems and sadly, she and Roger get divorced. Years after establishing herself as a theatrical figure of the New York stage, Susan, who has stayed single, is courted by the three men. Roger is always around and it becomes clear her heart belongs to Roger.
Joan Fontaine showed she was as good a comedienne in this type of fare as many of her contemporaries. She is a pleasant presence in any of her films. George Brent is a wonderful Roger; it is clear why Susan will prefer him above others. Don DeFore plays Mike, the man from the West that would like to make Susan his. Walter Abel is pleasant as Richard, the man that wants to marry Susan. Dennis O'Keefe appears as Bill, the writer. Elegant Rita Johnson is seen as Mona Kent, the rival actress that tries to derail Susan's ambitions as an actress.
Walter Abel is getting married to Joan Fontaine, so he wants to learn more about her from her exes, in "The Affairs of Susan." She was married to George Brent and Don Defore, and engaged to Dennis O'Keefe. They all tell their story of meeting her and the personality of Susan they knew and loved. When I started the film, it felt a little forced. But the film's entertainment really starts with George Brent's flashback, as he was her first husband. Their chemistry is great and they make for a sweet couple, but of course their relationship sours and Susan loses her unpretentiousness, resulting in their divorce, thus leading to the others' tales. All the actors are well cast and their stories are so engrossing, but it's all about Susan, and Joan Fontaine gives a great and relatively restrained performance as Susan, who goes from guy to guy, learning who she is and what she wants out of life. I know this sounds serious, when in fact it was a delightful comedy-drama. In fact, Walter Abel was quite disturbed when he saw all of the gentlemen's pictures in her apartment. She had not told him, in the brief time they knew each other, before his proposal, about any of her past. But what happens when he learns more about his fiancée? When you add up all "The Affairs of Susan," what has any of them learned? It seems that Susan....
James Agee wrote for The Nation:
I would like to be able to make "The Affairs of Susan" sound half as bad as it is, but I know when I'm licked. In this interminable film, which might be described as a Make's Progress, Joan Fontaine is photographed as Joan of Arc; the Maid looks as if she were testifying, for a handsome fee, to every nice thing the Voices told her about Lysol.
Miss Fontaine also appears as a lake-shore innocent, in trousers and a thinly knit jersey; in a series of gowns and negligees which are still more earnestly calculated to refute the canard that, if the Hays office permitted, she would be ashamed to make a clean breast of her "development" (I think the word is); and in a collection of horn-rims, tight hair, ties, and sharp tailoring which, if they suggest nothing admissibly human, may at least roughly approximate Mayor LaGuardia's mental image of "Trio".
Thihs sort of thing makes me all the angrier because Miss Fontaine has proved that she is an actress worth building a good picture around -- or even worth using in one that doesn't build around anyone.
About Dennis O'Keefe's characterization of a writer, I feel less kind. He achieves it purely by letting his hair get rather long behind the ears. In objecting to this, I am probably the only living writer who has to cast his stone through a glass house; and much as I loathe haircuts, I have been trying ever since I saw this picture to brace myself to enter a barber shop.
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