Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Palm Beach Story (1942)

Well, I was going to do The Invisible Man, but another blog I follow beat me to the punch. So, for the sake of professional courtesy, I'll hold off for a bit.

Next on the list is The Palm Beach Story, a Claudette Colbert screwball comedy. It seems that Gerry Jeffers (Claudette) is married to Tom Jeffers (Joel McCrea), who is hard working but ... what was that? Tom and Gerry Jeffers? Tom and Gerry? Seriously?

Whatever. Back to the story. Tom can't get a break and Gerry believes she is holding him back. She respects him, but says it's mostly a loveless marriage. She decides to take money from an old looney guy and go to that stereotypical place that people get divorces at. That's right, Palm Beach. Then she can somehow help him out. Seems Tom has this idea of building an airport out of netting. I guess this sounded plausible during the war.

Well, ol' Tom isn't totally on board with this quickie divorce thing, so he ALSO borrows money from an old looney guy and is in hot pursuit. That's right. Tom is chasing Gerry. Along the way, Gerry meets millionaire J.D. Hackensacker the third (Rudy Vallee). Gerry is going to marry him and funnel his money back at her future Ex. What nice people she is. Mary Astor plays Rudy's sis. How she ever got confused for a beauty, I'll never know.

The opening sequence made absolutely no sense and I was convinced this was a sequel. After viewing I searched for part one, but it doesn't exist. The opening plays into the story but it could have been skipped and not effect the story. When I read on Wikipedia what it meant, my reaction was "Oh, whatever".

Witty dialog and frank talk about divorce and infidelity made this movie interesting. Excellent pace, acting, and production all around. I didn't love it, but it very well might be worth a second look. Eventually. AMRU 3.5.
"That's one of the tragedies of this life, that the men most in the need of a beating up are always enormous."

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