Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
USA, 1937. Paramount Pictures. Screenplay by Virginia Van Upp, Oscar Hammerstein II, based on a play by George Manker Watters, Arthur Hopkins. Cinematography by Ted Tetzlaff. Produced by Arthur Hornblow Jr.. Music by Phil Boutelje, Ralph Rainger, Victor Young. Production Design by Hans Dreier, Ernst Fegte. Costume Design by Travis Banton. Film Editing by Eda Warren.
Carole Lombard misses her boat while carousing around Panama with Fred MacMurray and ends up getting stuck there. He’s a world class trumpet player and she’s a little bit of a singer, so they get work in a seedy bar, fall in love and get married. When his ship comes in, figuratively, he moves to Broadway with the intention of sending for her later, but instead enjoys becoming the toast of the town and forgets about his wife while she pines away for him down south. This very strange melodrama remakes The Dance Of Life with more emphasis placed on comedy (particularly Lombard’s brilliant sarcasm), but then doesn’t shy away from the tragedy of the third act, creating a very strange blend. The performances are strong, however, MacMurray a bit shrill but Lombard world-class the whole way. Look for a dashingly young Anthony Quinn as a Latin lover who causes a ruckus in a bar over Lombard’s beauty. Later remade with Betty Grable and Dan Dailey as When My Baby Smiles At Me.