A Justice of the Peace performed weddings a few days before his license was valid. A few years later five couples learn they have never been legally married. Annabel Norris, already Mrs. Mississippi and ready to enter the Mrs. America contest, is now free to enter the Miss Mississippi contest. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
According to a November 25, 1951 New York Times article, the picture was going to feature the stories of seven married couples, although the released film has only five. A March 1952 studio synopsis, contained in the PCA file, reveals that Hope Emerson and Walter Brennan were the stars of one of the dropped episodes, in which "Mattie Beaufort" (Emerson) an over-worked, rural housewife is courted by "Handsome" (Brennan), a shiftless philanderer. When Mattie receives the governor's letter notifying her of her marital status, she asks Handsome to read it for her, and he quickly feeds it to the hogs rather than have her learn that she would be free to marry him. A July 25, 1952 entry in Hollywood Reporter's "Rambling Reporter" column indicates that the sequence was filmed, but the reason for its removal from the finished picture has not been determined. See more »
The letter inducting Willie Fisher into the Army carries the date "May 11, XXXX", not showing any year, as is of course normal. The letter also refers to the "Asiatic-Pacific theater", when "Asia-Pacific" would be the correct term. See more »
Say one thing about our marriage. If there's such a thing as an un-jackpot, I've hit it!
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When Justice of the Peace Victor Moore learns that he jumped the gun in marrying traveling elopers passing through his state it causes great consternation in the lives of five random couples across the USA who discover that We're Not Married. In discussing the matter with the wife played by Jane Darwell he actually comes out with the clever notion that if these folks made a mistake they're getting a second chance at marriage without going through the pangs of divorce.
We're Not Married chronicles the lives of these five couples when they learn of the rush to marry mistake caused by Moore when he married them before his commission took effect. Usually the story that gets the most critical acclaim is the one involving Fred Allen and Ginger Rogers who play a nationally broadcast happily married radio couple. That's for public consumption actually these two bicker about everything. Screenwiter Nunnally Johnson was at his satiric best when he spoofed such radio personalities as Tex McCrary and Jinx Falkenberg who did just that kind of broadcast perpetually hawking their sponsor's products.
The others are pretty good too. David Wayne and Marilyn Monroe have an unusual arrangement where she goes out and wins beauty contests and he stays home taking care of the kid. The non-marriage throws them for a while as she as just won the Mrs. Mississippi contest, but they make lemonade out of the lemon.
Eddie Bracken and Mitzi Gaynor have a more serious problem, he's a soldier with orders for Korea, she's in a family way. It takes quite a lot to get that situation resolved and not an entirely happy ending for Bracken.
The weakest episode by far is Paul Douglas and Eve Arden. I was surprised that Arden who usually gets some of the best lines in her films is strangely muted by the script. They play a couple who has settled into boredom and the episode was the most boring of the bunch.
But my favorite is Louis Calhern and Zsa Zsa Gabor. He's an oil millionaire with a gold digging wife who has a bottom feeding lawyer in Paul Stewart. What happens to Zsa Zsa and Stewart is classic.
The idea of a marriage suddenly not being legal was tried out in one of Alfred Hitchcock's few comedies Mr.&Mrs. Smith with Robert Montgomery and Carole Lombard being the suddenly unmarried couple. We're Not Married increases the idea by a factor of five. I wouldn't say this film is five times better than Hitchcock's, but it's still very good and done by people more at home in the genre.
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