As David Grant passes neighbor Jean Newton on the street in Greenwich Village, he impulsively wishes her good luck. Although she doesn't know him, she intuitively asks him to become her partner in an Irish Sweepstakes ticket. David agrees on the condition that she go on a world tour with him if they win the $150,000 prize as an "experiment." She reluctantly agrees over the initial objections of her oafish fiancé Fred, who agrees to hold the ticket. When it turns out that they have drawn a horse in the race, Fred urges them to sell the ticket for the $12,000 asking price, but they turn him down. Although their horse loses, Jean is furious to learn that Fred had sold her half of the ticket. Even though David doesn't know about it, she feels obligated to share the $6000 with him. After he buys her a car with her half, she agrees to a scaled-down version of their tour to Niagara Falls, where they register as brother and sister. What Jean doesn't know is that David is actually a famous ...Written by
Lucky Partners, released in 1940, paired Ginger Rogers with Ronald Colman. The movie starts with Colman (Dave Grant) wishing a stranger "Good Luck!" as he passes her (Rogers playing Jean Newton) on the sidewalk, catching her off guard. After a brief exchange, they continue on their ways. Right away, the director is letting us know that this is a whimsical story, so criticisms about its implausibility should be few.
It turns out that Jean, who is engaged to Freddy (played by Jack Carson), crosses paths with Dave again, sending the story of this romantic comedy on its way. I was pleased to find this film uses both broad humor and comedic subtlety, with elements of farce. Director Lewis Milestone uses a deft touch to keep us guessing at the next plot twist and to keep the chuckles coming. I'm afraid I was not cognizant of Milestone's accomplishments before seeing Lucky Partners. He won the Academy Award for All Quiet on the Western Front, and directed the excellent Front Page, and the quirky Hallelujah, I'm a Bum. Milestone was known for his innovative filming techniques and his quirky sense of humor.
Ronald is his usual smooth self (does anyone else think Hugo Weaving was copying his voice in V for Vendetta?); Ginger, who I am partial to, plays her vivacious, funny-face persona. She would win the Academy Award for her role in Kitty Foyle, also released in 1940.
There are some humorous supporting cast portrayals, particularly the hotel maid who is the victim of Ginger's curious behavior.
Before it ends, the story morphs into a mystery that resolves in a courtroom setting.
Watch how the director creates viewer interest by allowing action to occur off-screen; he is very good at that. When the two men go into the back alley to fight (off-screen), watch Ginger's face. And you can see the moment (crossing the bridge)when Ginger realizes how much she cares for Ronald, accomplished without words--evidence of Milestone's silent film experience.
I really enjoyed this film.
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