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Toward the end of his life F. Scott Fitzgerald is writing for Hollywood studios to be able to afford the cost of an asylum for his wife. He is also struggling against alcoholism. Into his life comes the famous gossip columnist.
When Mike Hagen and Marilla Brown marry after a whirlwind romance on the west coast, they return to New York to find that they don't have much in common. She is a clothing designer who lives in a swanky apartment and whose friends are actors, artists and the like. He is a sports writer who likes to go boxing matches and horse races. They clearly love one another and make every effort to be flexible. When a mobster, whom Mike has been accusing of fixing sports events, decides to go after him he must pretend to be out of town and mayhem ensues. Written by
Vincent Minnelli directed this movie with verve. The idea of the movie came from MGM's designer Helen Rose, a woman who knew about fashions. The screen play by George Wells, works well in the beginning of the movie.
The idea of bringing together these two different people had already been done, especially as vehicles for Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn. The allure here lies on the stars. Gregory Peck and Lauren Bacall made an excellent couple.
Lauren Bacall, at the height of her beauty, comes out best. She was a fine comedy actress who had a sense of style and timing. In portraying Marilla, Ms. Bacall offers a side of her that hadn't been tapped before, having been seen in heavier roles. This movie seems to have been tailor made for her.
As the sports writer, Gregory Peck, plays comedy, which was not his forte. At times, he appears wooden, but it probably was the direction from Mr. Minnelli, who wanted to show the big contrast between the lovers. Mr. Peck's Mike Hagan is completely different from his role in "Roman Holiday", but he carries it off and shows he was having a great time playing this sports reporter.
Dolores Gray, as Lori Shannon, has a few good moments playing the woman that is dumped by her steady boyfriend. There are a lot of familiar faces in the cast. Sam Levene, Tom Helmore, Mickey Shaugnessy, Jesse White, Chuck Connors, Edward Platt and Jack Cole, who plays the part of the Broadway choreographer that makes a statement of not being gay, when everyone can see otherwise!
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