At a big party, Roger Fallon, now a woman-hater, right to the core - this all due to a failed marriage and disastrous love affairs - talks to Herbert Drake. Herbert who is happily married, ...
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At a big party, Roger Fallon, now a woman-hater, right to the core - this all due to a failed marriage and disastrous love affairs - talks to Herbert Drake. Herbert who is happily married, bets Fallon that the next woman who walks into the room, whoever she is, won't let Fallon kiss her for 48 hours. Fallon takes the bet. Suddenly, a very beautiful and sexy woman walks in. It's Herbert's wife, Jeanne Drake...Written by
Saw it today at MoMA, just before Howard's "Trial of Vivienne Ware", and it's almost impossible to believe that these two films were made by the same director and just a year apart.
"Trial" is a lightning-fast melodrama, fast even by pre-code standards, and very entertaining. This, on the other hand, has that awful early talkie pacing that you always hear about but rarely see so vividly. It also has uninspired direction and clueless casting of two of the three leading male roles.
J.M. Kerrigan is the hero's 'comic sidekick', the let's-go-out-and-party guy that Edmund Lowe picks up chicks with. Ahh... J.M. KERRIGAN?!! Are they kidding? They couldn't get Lupino Lane, or Roscoe Karns, or... ANYBODY ELSE?!!! Kerrigan seems twenty years too old, and looks for all the world like he wants to sit in a Morris chair sipping port while his dog lies at his feet, dying.
Edmund Lowe is the lead, and he's even worse. He's sincere and naturalistic, but BORING as all get-out. There are no stakes, no 'pep', no color, no comic liveliness. He's just not a comedy guy. If it had had somebody like Frank Fay, say (whose comedies of this period are not bad at all), or Lowell Sherman, or Melvyn Douglas, or...
The rest of the cast is fine -- McDonald, Young, Merkel, all are people who know their way around a comic scene -- but Lowe, Kerrigan, and the pace and direction sink it.
A pity, because the basic idea, dated as it is, is still funny, and this could have been a lot of fun... if only it had been directed and acted by people with a feeling for comedy.
Anyhow, this is what it is. Don't go out of your way for it.
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