7.1/10
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45 user 19 critic

In Name Only (1939)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 18 August 1939 (USA)
After a wealthy man finds out his wife is a gold digger, he meets and falls for a widowed mother, and complications ensue.

Director:

John Cromwell

Writers:

Richard Sherman (screen play), Bessie Breuer (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Carole Lombard ... Julie Eden
Cary Grant ... Alec Walker
Kay Francis ... Maida Walker
Charles Coburn ... Mr. Walker
Helen Vinson ... Suzanne
Katharine Alexander ... Laura
Jonathan Hale ... Dr. Gateson
Nella Walker ... Mrs. Walker
Alan Baxter ... Charley
Maurice Moscovitch ... Dr. Muller (as Maurice Moscovich)
Peggy Ann Garner ... Ellen
Spencer Charters ... Gardener
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Storyline

While out riding in the country, wealthy New Yorker Alec Walker meets young widow Julie Eden, and a relationship quickly develops. However, Alec has not told her that he is already locked into a loveless marriage to the avaricious Maida, who has contrived to convince his parents she is the ideal wife. A completely coincidental car crash alerts the two women to each other's existence, a situation to which they react very differently. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 August 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Kind Men Marry See more »

Filming Locations:

Ridgefield, Connecticut, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$722,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on December 11, 1939 with Carole Lombard, Cary Grant and Kay Francis reprising their film roles. See more »

Goofs

When Alec and Maida discuss their divorce, he sits down sideways on the couch with his left elbow over its back. She sits down too, then in the next shot Alec is suddenly sitting up straight with that elbow on his knee. See more »

Quotes

Telephone Operator: Mr. Alec Walker, calling Mrs. Alec Walker, Ritz Hotel, Paris. Mr. Walker's ready. Go ahead, please.
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Connections

Featured in Kisses (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Joy To The World
(uncredited)
Music attributed to George Frideric Handel
Words by Isaac Watts (1719)
Played and Sung on a radio on Christmas day
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
One of the best tearjerkers!
2 June 2002 | by mark.waltzSee all my reviews

He's unhappily married; She's a feisty widow who has just moved near by. Their love is tested because his bitchy wife will not let him go in spite of the fact that she can't stand him. The husband is Cary Grant; the wife is Kay Francis; the lovely widow is Carole Lombard in a rare dramatic performance. This is the basic synopsis for "In Name Only", released by RKO in the greatest year that movies ever saw: 1939.

By this time, Grant and Lombard were established as two of motion pictures greatest stars. Kay Francis, formerly the queen of Warner Brothers, went against type in this unsympathetic role which came at a point in her career where she was listed as "Box-Office Poison". (See my reviews for "Confession" and "The White Angel" for contrasting roles). The explanations for her holding on to a man she didn't love and her background makes her very human and not just a one dimensional villain. These three stars are dynamic together, although there is absolutely no sympathy for Ms. Francis after her "confession". You will be looking forward to her getting her come-uppance as she schemes to prevent Grant from getting his much wanted divorce to be with Lombard.

There is also Charles Coburn (one of the most delightful character actors ever!) as Grant's father, and Helen Vinson as Francis' confidante who also once had a thing for Grant. This is the type of drama that Hollywood just cannot produce anymore. There are definite comic overtones, though, which make this delightful fun! (Grant's "thank you" scene with Lombard is one of the all-time classic sophisticated comedy scenes, while the finale scene with Francis, Lombard, and Coburn is one of the greats as well.)

Sadly, Francis would only have a few more great parts ("The Feminine Touch", "It's a Date") and Lombard would die tragically a few years later; Grant continued to remain a star for the next three decades. This is all three at their very best, and highly regarded. In any lesser film year, this would have garnered more attention; In fact, this is one of few films ("Trouble in Paradise", "One Way Passage", and "Confession" are the others) where I consider Kay Francis worthy of an Oscar nomination.


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