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Max Wharton, 39, is the editor of the New York Bulletin -- or he was, until he announces that he's quitting to join the army. Robert Gow, who owns the paper, is furious. But Wharton wants more than anything to be close to the war. And his wife, Polly, wants to be close to him. And so she finishes up her latest movie script, and follows her husband to live near the barracks. She lives in a bungalow with no shower, lights that you have to turn on and off from the outside, a refrigerator that makes a hideous noise when she's lucky (that means it's working), moths and other niceties. Meanwhile, Max, studying hard for his exams, is starting to believe the saw that you can't teach an old dog new tricks.Written by
Polly has arrived at the officers training camp bungalow living quarters. She pushes several of her suitcases forward along the sidewalk with her foot. She passes a toddler on a tricycle and says to him, "I wish you were a little older." The toddler mouths a reply or says something, but no sound is heard. See more »
Radiant Irene Dunne carries conviction as wartime wife...
While hubby Alexander KNOX is undergoing the rigors of officer training at an army base, IRENE DUNNE must contend humorously with several hardships of her own, including a floorboard that has to be stamped upon in order to open a window, light switches in inconvenient places, a refrigerator caked with ice, and a lack of cooking skill that means she has to call upon her willing female neighbors when her husband brings a buddy over for dinner. In addition, she has a newspaper editor (CHARLES COBURN) hounding her husband to write another article from the newspaper he walked out on--a chore which Dunne takes upon herself to do so hubby won't be distracted from his work.
Based on Ruth Gordon's own experiences as an army wife (married to writer/director Garson Kanin), it serves as a delightful role for IRENE DUNNE, who lights up the screen with her presence and has never been more attractively photographed.
But the material itself is a bit uneven, deadly serious one moment and then straying into the field of screwball comedy at other times.
Another drawback is the performance of Alexander KNOX as the overage hubby, not the world's most charismatic actor. It's the kind of role that should have been played by either EDDIE ALBERT or a bigger star like CARY GRANT.
JEFF DONNELL is amusing as a devoted soldier's wife and CHARLES EVANS and LEE PATRICK do nicely in supporting roles. But it's almost a two character story with the spotlight on Dunne and Knox running occasional interference from crusty CHARLES COBURN, and most of it takes place in their cramped living quarters which must have kept the film at a very low budget.
Summing up: An essential Irene Dunne film for her fans.
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