Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB. USA, 1937. Paramount Pictures. Screenplay by Claude Binyon, based on the play Mon Crime by Louis Verneuil, Georges Berr. Cinematography by Ted Tetzlaff. Produced by Albert Lewin. Music by Friedrich Hollaender. Production Design by Hans Dreier, Robert Usher. Costume Design by Travis Banton. Film Editing by Paul Weatherwax.
Highly imaginative fiction writer Carole Lombard (in one of her most adorable, zany performances) is married to honest, straight-laced lawyer Fred MacMurray. When she decides to supplement their income by taking on an extra job, she winds up walking straight into a murder scene after her boss is killed on her first day. She’s obviously a suspect, but decides to forgo the evidence exonerating her in favour of claiming to have killed the man in self-defence. The script is a bit spotty, but the direction is reliably paced and the two stars do a fantastic job with the material right through to the end. Lombard is irresistible here, and MacMurray’s exasperation is completely justified every time she spins another one of her tall tales to get herself out of a scrape.