The work of a progressive female psychiatrist and her colleague at a mental hospital is threatened by the arrival of a conservative new supervisor, who disapproves of both her methods and the fact that she is a woman in a "man's field."
Gregory La Cava
Young lovers fall afoul of repressive society as Salem elders get caught up in the witch hunts and trials of 17th century Massachusetts. One family in particular uses the hysteria to its ... See full summary »
In this screwball comedy a WW2 US pilot bombs a Japanese aircraft carrier, is assumed to be dead, and then is misquoted in the press as fondly remembering his days back home walking his dog... See full summary »
New York stenographer Marilyn David meets Englishman Charles Gray and they fall in love. But Charles leaves town and Marilyn discovers he is a duke's son and already engaged. Marilyn confides in her platonic friend, reporter Peter Dawes, who publicizes her as the 'No Girl' who refused nobility. So Marilyn cashes in on her unwelcome notoriety by becoming a cafe entertainer; in an unexpected way, she succeeds. But can she decide between her two loves?Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
THE GILDED LILY packs a lot of good-natured fun into a standard Paramount assembly line product. Claudette Colbert, perhaps never more perfectly photographed and framed, plays an office worker torn between two handsome young suitors: a brash newspaper reporter (Fred MacMurray) and a cultivated Englishman (Ray Milland, who, unbeknownst to Colbert, is actually a duke traveling in the States under an assumed name to avoid the press). The plot picks up when Colbert discovers Milland's true identity (via MacMurray who by chance is assigned to do a story on him), whereupon emotions take over, spin out of control and create a whole new world of developments, including Colbert's overnight rise to celebrity-by- association, which relocates her from workaday surroundings to nightclub dressing rooms and luxury hotels, from simple lace collars to glittery evening gowns. There is no logical explanation for how she could become so closely involved with Milland, yet know nothing about him other than the fact that he is English and has no job. But we must suspend disbelief so that the plot can develop.
The first half is the best, beginning charmingly as Colbert and MacMurray's friendly- flirtatious relationship is established on a bench outside the main branch of the New York Public Library where they meet each Thursday to eat popcorn, chat and watch the world go by. Their dialogue provides all the exposition we will need: he is in love with her, plain and simple; she isn't in love with him, because her vision of love is based on an ideal fantasy which no reality has ever matched. From this introduction we are taken on a lively ride as she is soon swept off her feet by Milland in the surging chaos of a packed subway station. Following is a series of beautifully written scenes, expertly played by Colbert, charting the giddiness of falling madly in love through the descent into despair when that love suddenly appears to be a cruel illusion. The peak occurs when Colbert exquisitely botches a nightclub song-and-dance act intended to launch her as a marketable celebrity.
Thereafter the story sags and gets mechanical, contracting into the old "which suitor shall I choose" routine, but momentum resumes toward the end. Even at its lowest points, however, just the beauty of the three main faces in close up is enough to hold interest. It is impossible to judge which of Colbert's many light comedy performances is the finest, but this one would have to be in the top five. MacMurray and Milland are perfectly cast as the opposite love interests. They resemble each other in build, height and hair color, so that even accounting for Milland's accent and slightly more reserved demeanor we can see why it's so difficult for Colbert to choose between them. The resemblance is most pronounced when the men appear together in formal attire.
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