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

Thursday, March 19, 2009


HER HUSBAND'S AFFAIRS (1947). Director: S. Sylvan Simon.

William Weldon (Franchot Tone) takes a cream invented by Professor Glinka (Mikhail Rasumny) to entrepreneurs Cruikshank (Edward Everett Horton) and
Winterbottom (Gene Lockhart) with high hopes of great success for all. Rubbed on the face, the cream will eliminate the need for shaving. Unfortunately, after a big advertising campaign, the cream doesn't quite work as expected, but Margaret Weldon (Lucille Ball), Williams wife, saves the day by pointing out that the cream still has it uses. An ungrateful, insecure boor, William is more irritated than relieved, and one of the best scenes in the movie has Margaret telling him off in no uncertain terms. The characterization of the husband, and a protracted courtroom scene late in the film, are the main flaws of an otherwise very amusing black comedy, with the unpredictable results of the cream providing much of the hilarity. Ball and Tone aren't a bad team, but Lucy and Horton are even better in a scene when a newly hairy Horton keeps asking Margaret to run her fingers through his tresses. The aforementioned actors are all great, as is Mabel Paige, who owned Hanson's Dress Shop on a classic episode of I Love Lucy, in the smaller role of Mrs. Josper, who's a witness at the trial when William is arrested for -- well, that would be telling.

Verdict: Bizarre but funny -- if flawed -- black comedy. ***.

No comments: