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Made in 1938 , the movie has many of the right ingredients , but for me is weak in some areas. Gary Cooper seems a little flat in this one to me , and that gives Claudette Colberts' usual performance little to play to. I like Mr Deeds and John Doe and adore Ball of Fire , but this one is weak. I just looked up how many movies Cooper was in ( a lot ) , so they can't all be winners. The movie is OK , and is appropriate for fans of the stars and period , but simply is not stellar.
This film, from 1938, is not quite a classic. I showed this as one of my Saturday night offerings at a retirement community, where many people remembering both Gary Cooper and Claudette Colbert fondly, in ‘real time,’ so to speak. Most hadn’t heard of this film. It has some minor bits of slapstick and a very basic story, and a few good moments of chemistry between Cooper and Colbert. Director Ernst Lubitsch had some much bigger films – ‘Trouble in Paradise,’ ‘Ninotchka,’ ‘The Shop Around the Corner,’ and ‘To Be or Not To Be.’ This film doesn’t measure up to those standards, but one can see some classic pieces of Lubitsch here. The screenplay is by Billy Wilder – another name with much greater credits, and one can see a few classic Wilder touches in the humor here, but as the review in ‘Variety’ noted, Cooper seems to be miscast and the “light and sometimes bright” touches, there’s just not enough to make this film a memorable classic. Indeed, had we not had a particular theme for movie night that month (movies with the word “blue” in the title), this might have forever escaped my notice.
So many other heartwarming and happy movies to watch instead of this one. The movie starts out OK but turns bitter and mean half way through and just gets worse and worse until the end. An embarrassment for the two stars as they both do equal damage to their Hollywood images. If you want to see a movie with a VERY clever lady in the lead see Mary Astor in Smart Woman (1931).
Claudette Colbert and Gary Cooper have great chemistry, but the last quarter of the movie feels strained. Described by Billy Wilder's biographer, Ed Sikov, as "an unusually irritating comedy" for director Ernst Lubitsch, you can take consolation in the Art Deco sets, the attractive stars and the offbeat supporting characters, including a very young David Niven.
The story line of this film has been clearly delineated by other reviewers. I will therefore focus on script, performance and film quality. The film quality is generally good, with only slight "washout" of image. The script is good, and the performances by Miss Colbert and Mr. Cooper are very fine. They play off each other with excellent comic timing (particularly Miss Colbert). Unlike some other "screwball" or farce comedies, they slow down just marginally in line delivery and resist turning the sublime into the ridiculous. Therefore I find this a glorious little comedy, thoroughly recommended to those who enjoy class comedic performances from the major protagonists. Mr. Lubitsch really did understand the medium.
Gary Cooper is so good in this. He of course looks stunning. I love this movie one of my favorite Cooper movies. Now having said that, I did not like Gary and Claudette together in this. I thought chemistry was off. I'm not sure if Carol Lombard was still alive at the time of making this movie but she would have been super. She not only did great drama but was a really good comic.
Came in the mail very quickly and in brand new condition as described! I'm very pleased to add this to my collection. This movie is hilarious! I'd recommend it to any who loves Claudette Colbert or Classic comedies. Also it's been nicely remastered.