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|Index||13 reviews in total|
Based on Hiram Percy Maxim's memoir, 'A Genius in the Family,' this film attempts, rather poorly, to explore the comedic aspects of Maxim's relationship to his father, Hiram Steven Maxim. Taken by itself, it's a rather superficial film about the man who revolutionized the machine gun, by inventing the version that operates on the power of the bullets' expelled gases. Maxim's accomplishments are hardly mentioned, instead depending on the fictionalized relationships between his wife and son. The younger Maxim, by the way, founded the American Radio Relay League, the national organization of radio hams. While he he is famous to that particular fraternity, he is virtually unknown elsewhere, and even his father's fame is now largely forgotten.
As a longtime classic film buff, it's great to come across a worthwhile
film from Hollywood's golden age that I've never knew existed, yet
alone have seen. Doubly nice to find that Don Ameche made a few films
in the years immediately following his departure from Fox; I think
there was no better light comedian in movies.
This one is an expensively mounted romantic comedy-family comedy, shown in a beautiful new print on TCM. Sets and cinematography are elaborate. It's very much in the idiom of "Life With Father" (Myrna Loy was NOT in that one, despite what another reviewer said here) and Lubitsch's "Heaven Can Wait". And almost as good. Ameche and Loy do a masterful job with their light comedy roles, so much so that I could almost ignore that they were too old for the parts they were playing. Loy easily manged to be sexy, charming and beautiful, despite the handicap of overly heavy make up used for the entire film (obviously to hide that she was probably around 40 at the time).
...in giving the 'Green Light' to this picture. As a mid-19th Century
Family Comedy it succeeds in those respects. It Stars Don Ameche (Hiram
Maxim) and Myrna Loy (Jane Budden), his 1st Wife, making a attractive
and winning couple. The film is a polished piece, backed by a fine
musical score by Hans J. Slater. Who showed he could do more then just
provide background music for the Universal stable of Monsters.
Basically 'Maxim' is shown as a 'absent minded professor' who with the push from his Wife becomes a successful Inventor. Though what he invented is barely touched upon. Other then some minor domestic issues the film comes across as a discount LIFE WITH FATHER (1947). Pleasing to watch (one time) and that is about it.
The 'real' MAXIM was the inventor of many useful tools, his most noted one, the MAXIM MACHINE GUN. How did he come up with this? A friend suggested to make a real financial killing that he "...invent something that will enable these Europeans to cut each others throats with greater facility". In this he succeeded beyond his wildest dreams making a fortune, gaining a Knighthood and fulfilling his friends foresight as WWI would show.
A pity the movie did not cover the latter part of his life. The Machine Gun, Amusement Rides, a 2nd Wife and charges of Bigamy would have made a more fascinating film.
Ameche and Loy are playing roles not unlike more brilliant performances in more brilliant movies during the 1940's. That doesn't make So Goes My Love any less enjoyable despite the unnecessarily esoteric title. A more appropriate title would have been The Unconventional Hiram Maxim - a British-born inventor who lived in Brooklyn and, according to this movie, was fond of eschewing dignity. Loy is as successful here in engaging her co-star in remarkable chemistry and holding her own on the comic front (her smoking of a cigar is hilarious) as she was to be in her upcoming masterpieces Life with Father and Mr. Blanding Builds His Dream House. Ameche, fresh off Heaven Can Wait - one of my personal all-time favorites - and having perfected the inventor biopic in his essay of Alexander Graham Bell, is ideally cast as Maxim and has excellent chemistry with Loy. Add in highly competent support by Bobby Driscoll as Loy and Rhys WIlliams as an equally eccentric portrait painter and you have a highly amusing if episodic 80 minutes of entertainment.
Since I'm partial to almost any Myrna Loy film, I recorded "So Goes My
Love" with the intention that I might watch the first 10 minutes and
then hit delete. However, to my delight, this quirky comedy based on
the early married life of Hiram Maxim (Don Ameche) turned out to be
Loy and Ameche made a wonderful screen pair. Always elegantly coiffed and dressed, they are a very attractive couple with perfect chemistry. They both play the "straight man" which makes the humor very subtle and underplayed. It is the opposite of the screwball comedies that I so dearly love. Its quirkiness makes most every scene tongue in cheek funny more so than laugh out loud funny and it works well. I particularly enjoyed the casting of the extremely talented Loy and Ameche as well as a young Bobby Driscoll who plays their son, Percy, with such a natural talent that even he could underplay the humor appropriately.
The movie is actually based on the 1936 book by Percy called "A Genius in the Family." The book was a series of family anecdotes that Percy recounted from his early life. The plot is actually the tying of each anecdote together to make a precious story. There is little focus on what Hiram was inventing as that was not the point of the film since it is really more of a family film. Further reading (which I easily found on the Internet) is necessary if you really want to learn more of the actual Maxim family history. Meanwhile, if you want to relax and enjoy a cute film that was probably laced with lots of Hollywood glamour and fiction, then I recommend this enjoyable gem.
Not much of a plot after the marriage, more of a series of barely connected events in their home life. Much of the events centre around their son, Percy. They should have styled Loy's hair this way more often. She looks absolutely beautiful, as do her gowns. Would have been wonderful in colour. Don Ameche was no slouch in the looks department either. There is quite a bit of humour throughout the movie which holds up very well decades later. I laughed out loud at the rice throwing comment. Also the pull back while a jilted fiancé is giving a break -up speech. Contemporary humour in a movie set in the 19th century is rare. I actually wish they had made it a little longer as I really enjoyed watching Loy and Ameche together.
This subtle comedy, "So Goes My Love" from 1946 is based on a book by
Hiram Percy Maxim, who is a character in the film, about his family.
Jane Budden (Myrna Loy) comes to the city from a farm life in order to find and marry a rich man. It doesn't quite work out that way. She marries her cousin's neighbor, Herman Maxim (Don Ameche), who is an inventor - of what, we don't know.
Jane is determined that Herman find success, and in fact, with her encouragement, he does. They also have a family.
That's really all there is to it, but the humor in the film is delightful from the cast, including Bobby Driscoll as Percy. Myrna Loy and Don Ameche both approach their roles seriously, which makes the humor even better.
This is a film Ameche made after his career with 20th Century Fox; Loy at the time was 41, an advanced age for a woman to play a leading lady who wasn't in a character role in those days.
Lovely film that will leave you with a smile on your face. Bobby Driscoll is a sad reminder that Hollywood can chew you up and spit you out. After all his success as a child actor, his body was found in an alley and he was buried as a homeless person. The real Hiram Percy Maxim fared better.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is an odd film. It's a biopic of a real inventor, though in the
film we learn nothing about his inventions. Instead, we learn about his
family life. There's almost no real plot. Just a series of portraits of
three lives -- Hiram Maxim (very nicely portrayed by Don Amece), his
wife (Myrna Loy, who also is wonderful here), and their son (the tragic
Bobby Driscoll). I wish I could tell you what the plot was...but I
can't. It's just a very charming, nicely acted, somewhat lavishly set
period piece. There is a bit more humor than would be realistic, but
the movie is more about relationships.
I guess what makes this film so appealing is the acting. I always felt that Don Ameche had a very strong and likable screen personality, and that is very evident here. The same can be said of Myrna Loy.
I feel at a loss to describe why you should watch this film...yet I recommend you watch it.
"So Goes My Love" is a film that one wishes had been better than it is.
It's a fictional biopic about Hiram S. Maxim who invented a machine
gun, curling iron and other things. The film is based on a story by his
son, Hiram Percy Maxim, who was himself a prolific inventor. Maxim's
inventions get little attention in this film. Instead, it's more about
his personal life, meeting his first wife, and their family. It's
supposed to be a comedy, drama and biopic.
However humorless Hiram senior may have been, Hollywood surely could infuse enough energy and humor into his character to make the story more interesting. With Myrna Loy and Don Ameche in the leads, and a good idea for a plot, this film had potential. But, unfortunately, it turns out to be slow and just so-so for entertaining. I think the fault lies in a weak script, poor direction, and a lame acting job by Don Ameche.
Some pep shots of humor in the script would have put life into the screenplay. And, a pep pill for breakfast each day of shooting for Ameche might have brought his character to life. I understand that his Hiram Maxim is supposed to be a deadpan character. But that doesn't mean that he has to move about as though he were a robot with a recorder playing his lines. He underplays the part so much that it stretches the credibility of the audience to think that Loy's character could see anything in the man.
Ameche could act and could do comedy very well. He was absolutely hilarious at Tibor Czerny, a deadpan role opposite Claudette Colbert in "Midnight" of 1939. One can imagine Fred MacMurray in the part of Maxim. He was among the best if not the number one leading man in deadpan comedy. And, he played a number of roles as a tinkerer.
The only thing that earns this film my six stars is Myrna Loy's Jane Budden Maxim. Her knowing glances, looks of polite shock and other expressions are priceless. These are the things that made her a perfect film companion in so many wonderful comedies with William Powell. The camera catches them here, but unfortunately, the rest of the film is quite flat. It's too bad some of Jane's energy and enthusiasm didn't wear off on Ameche's Hiram.
Jane Budden (Myrna Loy) has decided to leave her farm and move to the big city in order to find a husband. Unlike some women, Jane is very open about wanting a successful husband and why she ends up marrying the far from successful Hiram Maxim (Dno Ameche) is perplexing. However, over time, this crackpot inventor actually turns out to be very successful. This film is about their life together and the family. Interestingly, unlike many other films of the era, this one is relatively uneventful--more a slice of life film instead of one with any great events or crazy happenings. Instead, it's just a nice little showcase for two actors away from their home studios (Loy with MGM and Ameche with 20th Century Fox) and doing a film for Universal. Nothing great, nothing bad about this one...just a nice story and nice acting.
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