MCMXXXIX VIII: Wife, Husband and Friend

Wife, Husband and Friend. Gregory Ratoff. 1939.

What! There were no lanes in New York in 1939? Just total anarchy? I love it!

This movie’s got a whole bunch of gags… but none of them really land? I mean, very few do. I almost feel bad at not enjoying this movie, because it’s puttering along very nicely, but it’s… not… actually… funny… for some reason or other.

It isn’t really the over misogyny that’s sinking this movie. It just doesn’t have any zing. I mean, the plot is fine: It’s kooky and unexpected, but the performances are so dialled back. I mean: Picture Edward Everett Horton in Warner Baxter’s role. See? Just thinking about it makes you want to smile, right. It’d have been glorious.

Instead these scenes just sit there, making you scratch your chin thinking “yes, I see how this could have been amusing”.

This blog post is part of the 1939

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