6.5/10
586
18 user 8 critic

Love Before Breakfast (1936)

Approved | | Comedy | 9 March 1936 (USA)
A rich businessman stalks another man's fiancée.

Director:

Walter Lang

Writers:

Herbert Fields (screenplay), Faith Baldwin (from the novel: "Spinster Dinner" by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Carole Lombard ... Kay Colby
Preston Foster ... Scott Miller
Cesar Romero ... Bill Wadsworth
Janet Beecher ... Mrs. Colby
Betty Lawford ... Countess Campanella
Richard Carle ... Brinkerhoff
Forrester Harvey ... Chief Steward
Joyce Compton ... Mary Lee
Bert Roach ... Party Host
Diana Gibson ... Secretary (as Diane Gibson)
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Storyline

A rich businessman stalks another man's fiancée.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 March 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Spinster Dinner See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Noiseless Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on the short story "Spinster Dinner" by Faith Baldwin published in Heart's International-Cosmopolitan magazine in the July, 1934 issue. See more »

Goofs

About 5 minutes into the movie, a horse-drawn taxi backs into a car & damages it's left headlight but in the next scene, it is the right headlight that is damaged & even more so. See more »

Quotes

Kay Colby: Do you mean to tell me you'd take anything from Scott Miller?
Bill Wadsworth: Well, why not? He's my boss, isn't he? Just because you got tight one night and promised to marry him.
Kay Colby: I wasn't tight!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Card after ending credits: "Thank You" See more »

Connections

Referenced in Wanderlust (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

The Old Gray Mare
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung by the college boys after the brawl
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not a classic, but Lombard is terrific.
21 July 2007 | by red_hyroSee all my reviews

The film's premise is straightforward: Lombard plays Kay Colby, a young socialite convinced she's in love with Bill Wadsworth (Cesar Romero), a fellow quickly identified as the douche who is all wrong for her. Her Mr. Right is Preston Foster's Scott Miller, who happens to own the oil company Wadsworth works for.

We quickly discover Miller is in love with Colby. He's also manipulative and sneaky, for as the film opens we find Miller is purposefully sending her rather self-centred beau away on assignment on a ship to Japan . And he manages to finagle it so that his own Ms. Wrong, a yappy countess with an entourage of similarly disposed dogs, is going on the same ship. Colby and Wadsworth bump into him (more accurately, they bump into his parked car and then him) at the dock.

So the stage is set for an epic 2nd act featuring the screwball comedy battle of wills, which will steadily escalate in madness and will only let up in the last minute.

The film is not as wicked as 'Mr. & Mrs. Smith', which has very similar sort of screwball formula (sneaky guy pursuing girl as opposed to sneaky girl pursuing guy ala 'Bringing up Baby'), but like that film, this one features Lombard doing what she does best: make you want to kiss and kill her at the same time. She's so good that it makes up for the inadequacies of the leading man, Preston Foster, who is not a good enough listener as an actor to create the sort of chemistry a William Powell or Cary Grant could form with an ugly lamp (see Powell's work in 'My Man Godfrey' opposite Lombard, whom he had not too long before filming divorced!). Foster's all right when we don't have to watch him react to Lombard, but his comic timing and general shtick is uneven. I suspect the director must have figured this out, as the camera is kind in allowing her to create the illusion of a relationship twixt the two a fair amount of the time.

Another interesting phenomenon is the visceral similarity in appearance of the two men (they look alike and both have dark hair with trimmed mustaches) vying for Lombard's Colby, which was aesthetically dissonant for me. I think at the very least one of the staches could have gone, just so douche-bag and good guy don't become perceptually associated in our minds.

The indulgence of quibbles aside, the film's moments of charm and Lombard's mastery of screwball comedy's delectable form of erotica make it well worth seeing if you're fond of the genre.


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