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

Saturday, December 29, 2007


NEXT TIME I MARRY (1938). Director: Garson Kanin.

Lucille Ball plays an heiress, Nancy Fleming, who's in love with a gigolo European count (Lee Bowman), but needs to marry an American (James Ellison) so she can inherit her late father's money. Ellison is a road laborer that agrees to marry the gal for a few hundred dollars, but when he learns who she is he's anxious to reach Reno before she does so that he can file for divorce first, avoiding any charges that he's a male gold digger. They wind up traveling together in his trailer, with Bowman trailing along and creating mischief. Lucy -- who displays amble star quality and comedic skill in her first starring part -- and the less talented but effective Ellison play very well together, and there are numerous amusing sequences and funny lines. Minor, but easy to take and fast-paced. One quibble. The Great Mantan Moreland doesn't get enough to do as Bowman's funny chauffeur. Bowman is fine as the oily count.

Verdict: Not great, but worth a look. **1/2.

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