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Archive for the ‘Eddie Bracken’ Category

We’re Not Married

26 Feb

We’re Not Married — Directed by Edmund Goulding — Low Comedy. Multiple miscarriages of marriage. 86 minutes Black and White 1952.

* * *

Oh, dear, and what a good idea, too. A letter of the law has not been followed, and five couple find they are not wed after all. It’s essentially five playlets for two actors each. The problem lies in the writing and directing, for the exposition of each of them goes on far too long, and the resolutions of all but the ones with Louis Calhern and Zsa Zsa Gabor and Eddie Bracken’s with Mitzie Gaynor, are left unexplained. Why do Eve Arden and Paul Douglas remarry, when Douglas has torn up the marriage-canceling letter in the throes of a sexual fantasy about an orgy of future babes? The soda-fountain mentality of Hollywood in the 50s is perfectly arrayed here in the flatness and thinness of the set design, the banality of the world Hollywood wanted us to swallow, and which we didn’t swallow thanks to Marlon Brando. None of the actors are well served: the great Louis Calhern is filmed all wrong, Eddie Bracken is asked to perform bedroom farce on a back-lot small town street, opposite the vexing Mitzie Gaynor, who throve only in musicals, as far as I know. Ginger Rogers, as expert a natural comedienne of light bite as ever drew breath, has to play exposition scenes of interminable length with radio star Fred Allen. Marilyn Monroe is in fine figure and good fun as a beauty queen, and David Wayne does a good job as her house-husband. It’s an ice-cream sundae with powdered milk ice-cream. But, to watch Ginger Rogers as an actress work the material with full natural ease and responsiveness is a treat. The adaptation was done by Dwight Taylor, the son of the great Laurette Taylor; he wrote some of the Rogers and Astaire musicals, and it would have been better had he written the script itself. Sorry to be sour here. I was open when it opened and slowly closed up as it went along.

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