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
I saw this film on TCM as "Don't Bet on Women". In the early part of the film, the viewer might feel--based upon the viewpoints expressed by the male characters--that this film is positively prehistoric regarding its opinion of women. But no--those are just the views of the characters, not the playwright who originally penned the story.
This is a pre-Code film and its departures with convention pertain mostly to its examination of the (changing) roles of women, particularly as they pertain to romance and marriage.
Herbert Drake (Roland Young) prattles on about his parental views of women to Roger Fallon (Edmund Lowe). This amuses Fallon, perhaps because Drake's opinions are even more patronizing than his own. Drake is also very arrogant in general and refuses to ever admit he is wrong--as if it's a matter of principle.
At one point, Drake--eager to prove his superior knowledge of women--bets Lowe $10,000 that he cannot kiss the next woman who enters the veranda. A very Shakespearian device to be sure. And of course Mrs. Drake (Jeanette MacDonald in a non-singing role) obliges.
Mrs. Drake aka Jean immediately learns of the wager and is insulted, but she insists that the bet remain--allegedly to test her faithfulness as a wife.
The film also features Una Merkel as Tallulah Hope, Jean's friend who spouts non sequiturs as fast as Gracie Allen ("I think scenery adds so much to a view!").
Though its roots in the theater are rather obvious, the story has charm and the acting is fun to watch, even if it's not the best. What Loy and Powell could have done with this!
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