Monday, November 14, 2011

Film | Mr and Mrs Smith (1941)

It has been a few months since I made my post about 'Stars To Watch', but I finally got around to seeing one of the films I talked about on that list. Carole Lombard was one of the stars I talked about and after the Carole-tennial(+3) Blogathon, I figured why not start with one of her films. When I found out this was directed by Hitchcock, it was put at the top of my Netflix Queue.


"Lombard and Montgomery Get Hitched
As They're Getting Unhitched !"

Carole Lombard as Ann Krausheimer Smith
Robert Montgomery as David Smith
Gene Raymond as Jefferson Custer
Jack Carson as Chuck Benson

No less than Alfred Hitchcock takes a turn at the helm of this decidedly romantic comedy starring Robert Montgomery and Carole Lombard as the titular couple, David and Ann Smith. After three years of highs and lows in a mercurial nuptial, the two discover they aren't truly married after all. David hesitates sealing the deal for real, which drives Ann to the arms of the straight-laced Jeff (Gene Raymond). Is a happily-ever-after not meant to be? [Netflix]

The dinner scene when David goes out with his male friend and the two 'beautiful' ladies made me laugh out loud. David was already a little uncomfortable sitting with these two ladies that weren't up to his standards, and then in walks Ann. When he sees that Ann is there with his long-time friend Jefferson, he feels the need to make her jealous rather than have her laugh with the company he is keeping. So he cleverly uses the more attractive lady to his other side to make Ann believe he is with her. He mimes words into her ear and it works until the lady's gentlemen friend sees what is going on. Poor David never had a chance.

This was Alfred Hitchcock's first and only screwball comedy. It has been said he only did it as a favor to friend Carole Lombard, but papers from RKO show that is was actually Hitchcock that pursued the project. Lombard took over directing for part of the film. When it was time for Hitch to make his cameo appearance, Carole made him do the act numerous times until she thought it was perfect.

It turns out Carole was quite the jokester. Playing on the quote Hitchcock made about "all actors being cattle", he walked on set one day to find a corral with livestock inside. There were three heifers with nameplates that read Lombard, Montgomery and Raymond.

This was my first time seeing one of Carole Lombard's films, and I must say, it makes me anxious to see more. She was very likeable and seemed very real. She was funny without trying and demanded your attention in all of her scenes. I had read prior that this was the second to last film she made before her death, so watching the film had a bitter-sweet feeling to it.



  1. Glad you liked it, and I eagerly await your reactions to more Lombard films; there is a timeless quality about her personality that enables her to stand out from her '30s peers.

  2. I just adore Carole Lombard, she's so...Carole. And I love the scene you mentioned was your favorite - I think either that one or the one when Ann and Jeff are in the rain stuck on the carnival ride is my favorite.