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

Thursday, April 16, 2009


WEEKEND FOR THREE (1941). Director: Irving Reis.

"Every married man ought to be a bachelor!"

One night when he's tight, Jim (Dennis O'Keefe, pictured) invites a friendly guy, Randy (Phillip Reed), in a club to come visit, and the guy shows up at his house -- and shows no signs of ever wanting to leave. Worse, he and Jim's wife Ellen (Jane Wyatt) are old friends and have great fun dancing all night together. Had this low-grade Man Who Came to Dinner been made in the 21st century, it probably would have had all sorts of psycho-sexual developments [Randy seems stereotypically gay for one thing] but for a screwball forties picture it certainly doesn't have enough laughs. O'Keefe and Wyatt are fine, but the picture is stolen by those old pros Zazu Pitts (as the maid), Edward Everett Horton (Jim's associate, who's had several bad marriages) and Franklin Pangborn (as a waiter in their favorite establishment). This is a picture you really want to like but it's very third-rate and never really erupts into the hoped-for hilarity. And this had a screenplay by Dorothy Parker -- I wonder how much of her original script actually made it into the movie. Not much, I bet.

Verdict: You'll have the feeling you've been this way once too often. *1/2.

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