Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

IN NAME ONLY


IN NAME ONLY (1939). Director: John Cromwell.

Alec Walker (Cary Grant) is trapped in a loveless marriage with his wife Maida (Kay Francis), who freely admits she was in love with another man at the time of their wedding and only married Alec for his money. Alec meets a free-spirited widow, Julie Eden (Carole Lombard) with a small girl, and he and Julie, instantly smitten, fall in love. But will Maida graciously step aside -- or cause them all manner of trouble? What do you think? The stars are all in top form in this -- it's one of Francis' best performances -- and the picture is warm, humorous, dramatic, and absorbing, the only deficit a climactic bout with pneumonia that's a bit of a bore. Otherwise, this is very entertaining. Supporting players include Helen Vinson as the bitchy, man-hungry Suzanne, supposedly Maida's best friend; Katharine Alexander as Laura, Julie's bitter sister; and Charles Coburn as Grant's father, who doesn't have nearly enough to do. Grant and Lombard are really terrific in this. A lost film from that great year for movies, 1939.

Verdict: Kay, Carole and Cary! Oh my! ***1/2.

2 comments:

Livius said...

Will, I hope it's ok but I've passed on a blogging award to you that you can find out about on my site at http://filmjournal.net/livius/about/

William said...

Many thanks, Livius, I appreciate it. It may take me a few days to follow all the rules but I will do so asap. Best, William.