Wednesday, July 14, 2010


A routine romantic slamming-doors farce (with few actual slamming doors) which is just good enough that it makes you wish it were better. The set-up: Betty (who is married to stuffed-shirt Ralph) flirts with Bob at a beach resort; Georgianna (who is Ralph's ex-wife) overhears them planning a rendezvous that night at a nearby mountain cabin and sets in motion a convoluted plan to have the two get stuck overnight at her cabin instead, just to toy with them. Meanwhile, Lawrence and Connie are two high society crooks who steal some gems (including an emerald of Georgianna's), then steal Ralph's car to head off to the mountains. They all wind up at Georgianna's and are forced to adopt new identities: Betty claims to be Bob's wife and Lawrence claims to be Ralph (since he has Ralph's car), which makes Connie, Betty. Georgianna, having a high old time as the only one who knows what's really going on, has invited the real Ralph over for brunch the next morning to catch his wife in her lies. However, she starts to develop feelings for Bob; guess who winds up with whom?

One problem here is that under the Production Code, things can't get as racy as they should--had this been made in the early 30's, it would have been a bit more realistic in its (im)morality, but here, Betty and Bob can't actually spend the night in the same room, let alone in the same bed, so there are some torturous plot devices present to ensure that. The thieves also might have gotten away with their larceny, which they don't here. The acting is OK: Kay Francis (pictured above) and George Brent seem to be having a good time as Georgianna and Bob, and John Eldredge and Claire Dodd are fun as the crooks. Ralph Forbes doesn’t have much to do as Ralph, and Genevieve Tobin is lackluster as Betty (she should be more frivolous). William Austin gets in a good scene or two as Ralph's unlikable (and certainly gay) brother who all along suspects Betty of adultery, and Helen Lowell is dryly amusing as Georgianna's aunt who goes right along with all the charades. It's nice and short, and is recommended mostly for Kay Francis fans. [TCM]

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