Monday, July 22, 2002

Two Fairly Dreadful B-Comedies

This poorly executed screwball is almost worse than FOUR'S A CROWD, one of my least favorite movies of all time. Robert Young comes swooping in from overseas to snatch Ann Sothern out of her wedding so she can marry him. But he's rather suspicious of her vaudeville friends and the two grow distant until Sothern pulls a prank on Young that gets him in trouble with the law (or so it seems). Outside of the vaguely charming and promising first 15 minutes, Young and Sothern have very little chemistry and the traditional plot of irritation becomes incredibly irritating for the audience. Reginald Owen steals the show under a bizarrely elaborate beard (there's a throwaway reason for the beard involving smuggling silk), and a young Dean Jagger has a role (I didn't recognize him at all).

According to Halliwell, this dumb little MGM B-comedy was supposed to be the first in an Andy Hardy-type series with Frank Morgan as a father of three girls. Thank goodness it didn't go beyond this misguided film. Morgan meddles in his eldest daughter's (Ann Rutherford) love life, getting her hitched to car salesman John Shelton, a remarkably bland and untalented actor, outblanded only by the horrific Richard Travis (the newspaperman in MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER). I was hoping that Shelton's rival Dan Dailey (in a very early role) would come to Rutherford's rescue, but alas... Despite the presence of some usually reliable actors (Morgan, Gene Lockhart, Virginia Weidler, and Sara Haden), the whole thing had the frothiness of mud.

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