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Film Bulletin (25/Jan/1941) - "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" Amusing Farce Comedy





Rates ★★★ generally on names

90 Minutes
Carole Lombard, Robert Montgomery, Gene Raymond. Jack Carson, Philip Merivale, Lucile Watson, William Tracy, Charles Halton, Esther Dale, Emma Dunn, Betty Compson, Patricia Farr, William Edmunds, Adele Fearce.
by Alfred Hitchcock.

"Mr. and Mrs. Smith" adds another to the long list of brittle and so-called screwball comedies of married life that have been produced in the last few years. Unfortunately, there aren't quite enough funny situations and the picture drags a little at times, but Alfred Hitchcock's expert direction and the fine comedy performances of Carole Lombard, Robert Montgomery, and Gene Raymond make the picture somewhat more entertaining than many of its predecessors of the same general type. Norman Krasna has contributed a story based on a very slight plot, which contains some novel twists, clever dialogue and amusing situations. On the whole it's good entertainment and will come as welcome refreshment from many of the current heavy films. The names of Lombard, Montgomery and Hitchcock will bring ticket buyers to the box-office and the picture should gross well above average in most locations.

After three years of happy married life, marred only slightly by some marital bickering, Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery discover that, due to a technicality in the license laws of the town where they were married, they aren't legally married at all. Carole suddenly becomes primly puritanical and, when Robert doesn't insist on remarrying her at once, she turns him out of the house and refuses to speak to him. Gene Raymond, Montgomery's law partner, tries to induce Carole to make peace with her husband and ends by becoming engaged to her himself and it is only after a long series of complications that Montgomery finally tricks her into admitting she still loves him.

Carole Lombard is perfectly cast as Mrs. Smith and she gives a fine comedy performance and looks very beautiful in an assortment of smart clothes. Robert Montgomery romps through his part with ease and gusto. Gene Raymond does a good job in his characterization of the milk-sop young lawyer. Jack Carson puts across a vivid picture of the vulgar playboy. Philip Merivale and Lucile Watson have a couple of good scenes as Raymond's parents, shocked at the confused situation in which their son finds himself.

CRAWFORD (Hollywood)