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

Thursday, April 19, 2012


GUEST WIFE (1945). Director: Sam Wood.

Chris Price (Dick Foran) and his wife Mary (Claudette Colbert) are about to depart for Manhattan for a second honeymoon when in blows Chris' best friend, reporter Joe Parker (Don Ameche). Parker has told his boss, the unctuous and moralistic Arthur Truesdale Worth (Charles Dingle) that he has a wife, even going so far as to send him Mary's photo. Mary is importuned to pose as Mrs. Parker in New York, which leads to embarrassing complications, and so enrages Mary that she pretends she's fallen for Joe just to get even with both men, one of whom is a creep (Joe) and the other a thoughtless fool (Chris). Colbert's spirited performance is the only reason to watch this fairly leaden "comedy" with unlikable and unsympathetic male characters. There is a mildly funny bit with a nosy shoe salesman in a nightclub, as well as a sequence wherein a bartender assumes the three principals are having a menage a trois, but otherwise this is pretty much a waste of an hour and a half. Sam Wood may have directed A Night at the Opera, but he couldn't do much with this script. Ameche is okay and Foran is as amiable as ever.  

Verdict: Don't be a "guest" in this movie. **.

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