A magazine's staff, including bickering ex-lovers Linda and Carey, cover an Indiana wedding, which goes slightly wrong...A magazine's staff, including bickering ex-lovers Linda and Carey, cover an Indiana wedding, which goes slightly wrong...A magazine's staff, including bickering ex-lovers Linda and Carey, cover an Indiana wedding, which goes slightly wrong...
But this is the first and only pairing of Robert Montgomery and Bette Davis. Montgomery, as Carey Jackson, dumped Bette Davis, as Linda Gilman, without even telling her, when three years before when he started thinking they were getting too serious. So he's been writing in Europe, but then his magazine's office closed and he's back in New York. He ends up on the staff of Home Life, edited by Linda.
Linda is over Carey, but she insists he realize she is the boss or she will fire him. She is afraid he will look for "angles" in every straightforward assignment she gives him. She is not wrong. This is a great and nuanced performance by Davis, and she actually does well as the 30 something independent sophisticate, making it in what was very much a man's world at the time. Carey, by his maneuvers, is not over Linda physically, but that seems to be as far as it goes for him, and he gets very annoying with his antics. As much as I like Montgomery, it seems like that would be difficult to do, but he manages to pull off making me dislike his character because he is so smarmy.
The bulk of the film is set in Indiana as Linda's staff are there to do a feature article about a wedding. It's basically a "bunch of fish out of water" story with the New York sophisticate magazine staff trying to make the homespun Brinker house fit for a layout in their magazine with the sexual tension between Linda and Carey playing out along with the fact that all is not right with the romance between the bride and groom to be.
The supporting cast is fine and the dialogue sparkles with wit, but it really cries out for the zaniness of Loy and Powell in the lead and a director like Leo McCarey to get it to where it is a first class screwball comedy. Instead we have Bretaigne Windust in the director chair, who mainly directed television and to date doesn't even have a bio section on this website. And that is unusual among directors.
If it ever comes your way I'd give it a chance, just because it is a somewhat unjustly forgotten item in Bette Davis' filmography.
- Jun 20, 2021