Keeping Company (1940)
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One note -- Frank Morgan shows a different side of his acting skill and is quite good. But other his other pictures of this period -- The Last Virginian, Wild Man of Borneo, show this off as well, and are just as perfectly wholesome, but far less icky about it.
The acting is nice in this one and it's nice to see Morgan playing someone who is less stupid than his usual characters. The script is enjoyable and breezy but nothing extraordinary. All in all, worth seeing and fun.
Keeping Company has Morgan and Irene Rich as the parents of three daughters, Ann Rutherford, Gloria DeHaven, and Virginia Weidler in descending order. Weidler is horning in on the little Miss Fixit roles that Deanna Durbin had a Universal. Only she doesn't sing.
Rutherford the oldest has a couple of car salesmen who work for Gene Lockhart panting hot and heavy after her. Rutherford chooses and marries John Shelton instead of Dan Dailey, but Shelton has the older and more experienced Virginia Grey looking to come between them.
Keeping Company is the studio system at its best. None of MGM's name contract players head the cast to guarantee box office. This one played at the bottom of double features. But the people I've listed in this film are what made a lot of MGM's features so popular and if the audience didn't know their names their faces were indelibly imprinted on their minds. When a Frank Morgan came on the scene you could almost guarantee what was to come and you eagerly expected it.
An enjoyable family comedy that holds up well today.
This is aided by some fine supporting performances, particularly Gene Lockhart as Shelton's understanding boss, and stage veteran Irene Rich as the typical "Mrs. Hardy" MGM wife and mother. There's a reason why the Hardy family series focused on Andy rather than Cecilia Parker's Marion because Andy was unique (and perhaps too unreal), and Marion was simply too typical and bland. In this family, the Andy-like juvenile prankster played by Weidler provides the best moments, selling dad's favorite chair and ironically being the voice of reason in a family that MGM chief Louis B. Mayer desired to present to the world as the ideal all-American family that probably never existed.