|Abel, Allbritton, Paige and Barrymore all cut up|
FIRED WIFE (1943). Director: Charles Lamont.
"You're so wonderfully repetitious."
In this largely forgettable and desperately frenetic farce, Hank Dunne (Robert Paige) has married career woman Tahitha (Louise Allbritton), who is keeping the marriage secret from her boss, Chris (Walter Abel). Besides the fact that Tahitha has to work on her honeymoon, and that Hank wants her to quit her job, another complication is Hank's friend and associate, radio hostess Eve (Diana Barrymore), who is carrying a torch for him. Hardly any cliche is left unturned in the mediocre screenplay, although the performers are certainly game; Allbritton and Paige are fine, Barrymore adds some zest in her lively portrayal of difficult Eve, and although Walter Abel gives a very good performance, as usual, his character is too loathsome to be funny -- the film's best moment comes when he finally gets his comeuppance. Walter Catlett [It Started with Eve] gives perhaps the funniest performance as Judge Allen, the bemused Justice of the Peace, and Rex Ingram [Anna Lucasta] is also notable as Hank's major domo, Charles. There are a few sporadic chuckles in the movie so it's not a complete waste of time. Paige also starred in Flying G-Men.
Verdict: With pictures like these no wonder Barrymore got disillusioned with Hollywood. **1/2.