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One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »
Charlie Ruggles and Mary Boland have a dedicated if somewhat banal marriage in Topeka. He brings home his old college buddy, Adolphe Menjou, who has just written a book titled "Marriage, The Living Death." The high-living bachelor convinces Mary that their marriage lacks zest. If Charlie never cuts loose, she can never have the joy of jealousy and the pleasure of forgiving him. So Charlie goes out to fulfill his part of the deal with Vivienne Osborne, and comes home with a black eye, pneumonia and one of Miss Osborne's garters in his pocket, triggering off a hilarious third act to this absurd comedy.
The parts must have been written for the performers, and Elliott Nugent directs them to a tee; the absurd interplay between Menjou and Ruggles suits their screen characters to a tee; Miss Boland is perfect, looking goggle-eyed and confused with Mr. Menjou and ordering an ice cream soda from bartender Tom Kennedy in an illegal saloon. Even the small roles, like Frank O'Connor, who wants to arrest Ruggles for impersonating himself, have never been better.
I had never heard of this movie before it turned up, and it's a shock to me how good this unremembered comedy is. In terms of story, jokes and just plain comedic shtick, it is a masterpiece of its type.
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