Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5.
USA, 1937. Columbia Pictures Corporation. Screenplay by Vina Delmar, based on a play by Arthur Richman. Cinematography by Joseph Walker. Produced by Leo McCarey. Music by Morris Stoloff. Production Design by Lionel Banks, Stephen Goosson. Costume Design by Robert Kalloch. Film Editing by Al Clark. Academy Awards 1937.
Comedy masterpiece by Leo McCarey that is probably his greatest film. Irene Dunne and Cary Grant play an estranged married couple who, after discovering about each other’s extramarital affairs, decide to get divorced. Still unable to shake each other off after they’ve separated, they are constantly in the other’s way after establishing new relationships: Dunne meets Ralph Bellamy and is instantly smitten with him, and Grant starts up a romance with a snobby society dame. The lengths these two won’t go to to ruin everything for each other provides for some of the greatest laughs ever seen on the silver screen, with Grant’s timing letter perfect, and Dunne an absolute wonder. Her performance is sexy, sassy, savvy and sweet, plus she sings a showgirl number, truly one of the finest performances by a woman in thirties movies, right up there with Carole Lombard in My Man Godfrey.