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The Judge Steps Out (1947)
Nearly steps past production code but chickens out.
This is a movie that was almost great, but the had to force the ending to fit the "Hays Office" guidelines. You wanted to scream at the judge not to be a whiner and go back to a wife clearly ill-suited for him. But Proper Morality wins out. Though they stretch it out till nearly the last minute of the film.
Still this is a nice showcase for too often overlooked actors. Lead actor Alexander Knox is best known for the stodgy Woodrow Wilson biopic, but here shows a delicate comedic sense. Ann Southern was never more appealing. George Tobias showed why he never seemed to be out of work. Whitford Kaye nearly steals the movie as the wise country doctor. And the great Ian Wolfe is marvelously smarmy as only he could be.
This is a movie that could have been longer as it zips right along, and a few scenes were not developed enough (especially the romance and the relationship of Peggy and Nan).
Pity this one got sandbagged by conventionalism, but is mighty tasty till then.