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Well, it's growing on me (and it's not fungus).


slaytonf
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Not wishing to take a stroll down war movie lane for today's hat-tip to Dec. 7, I scrolled thru my list of pics in reserve to see what I might come up with while waiting for Jeopardy! (damn that Hairspray!).  Happily, I struck on one with a combat of a different sort in it.  It's Too Many Husbands (1940), with Jean Arthur, Fred MacMurray, and Melvyn Douglas--a comedy of the spouse-thought-to-be-dead-returns-after-the-other-one-remarries sort.  There's a more famous one, but I like this much better--at least now I do.  When I first saw it, I barely made it all the way through, based solely on Miss Arthur's presence.  But the more I watch it, the more I appreciate Mr. Douglas, and MacMurray's performances.  On the whole, I find it clever, and witty, and is one of the few comedies I actually laugh at.

 

Notwithstanding the fine efforts of the two gentlemen, who really provide some amusing moments, There's still only one reason I take this out for a spin in my DVD player, and that's Jean Arthur.  Sure, she's in a lot of iconic movies, like Mr. Smith, and Mr. Deeds, and-oh yeah-Shane, but it's in some of her less well-known ones like this and, say, The Devil and Miss Jones (1941), where her great ability and presence can be best seen.  She's a wonderful comic talent, and in this movie, there's no other word for it, she just sparkles.  Watching the unambiguous glee at times in her face as she contemplates her overabundance of husbands is hilarious.  She has one pose on a rail going upstairs at a point in the movie which is as darling a thing in pictures as there is.

 

And that ending!  How did it ever get past the censors?

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Melvin had quite the career.  Most of the older movies of his I've seen were light fare or "screwball" comedies, and he was usually the "comic" or funny wisecracking foil( as in MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS HIS DREAMHOUSE) .  But when he aged, his dramatic work was outstanding! (HUD, BILLY BUDD,  THE SEDUCTION OF JOE TYNAN and the one Darg mentioned).

 

I just loved him either way!

 

Sepiatone

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Not wishing to take a stroll down war movie lane for today's hat-tip to Dec. 7, I scrolled thru my list of pics in reserve to see what I might come up with while waiting for Jeopardy! (damn that Hairspray!).  Happily, I struck on one with a combat of a different sort in it.  It's Too Many Husbands (1940), with Jean Arthur, Fred MacMurray, and Melvyn Douglas--a comedy of the spouse-thought-to-be-dead-returns-after-the-other-one-remarries sort.  There's a more famous one, but I like this much better--at least now I do.  When I first saw it, I barely made it all the way through, based solely on Miss Arthur's presence.  But the more I watch it, the more I appreciate Mr. Douglas, and MacMurray's performances.  On the whole, I find it clever, and witty, and is one of the few comedies I actually laugh at.

 

Notwithstanding the fine efforts of the two gentlemen, who really provide some amusing moments, There's still only one reason I take this out for a spin in my DVD player, and that's Jean Arthur.  Sure, she's in a lot of iconic movies, like Mr. Smith, and Mr. Deeds, and-oh yeah-Shane, but it's in some of her less well-known ones like this and, say, The Devil and Miss Jones (1941), where her great ability and presence can be best seen.  She's a wonderful comic talent, and in this movie, there's no other word for it, she just sparkles.  Watching the unambiguous glee at times in her face as she contemplates her overabundance of husbands is hilarious.  She has one pose on a rail going upstairs at a point in the movie which is as darling a thing in pictures as there is.

 

And that ending!  How did it ever get past the censors?

 

Too Many Husbands is a film where the fine talent of the actors carries the film.     Jean Arthur has so much sparkles that she is ageless.

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In the documentary "The Making of Gone With the Wind" it's noted that Selznick was very much interested in Melvyn for the role of Ashley Wilkes, as he gave the most intelligent reading of the part in a screen test.  However, he was eventually deemed to be "too beefy" for the part.

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In the documentary "The Making of Gone With the Wind" it's noted that Selznick was very much interested in Melvyn for the role of Ashley Wilkes, as he gave the most intelligent reading of the part in a screen test. However, he was eventually deemed to be "too beefy" for the part.

I remember that too, in fact I think of it every time I see Douglass in something.

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In the documentary "The Making of Gone With the Wind" it's noted that Selznick was very much interested in Melvyn for the role of Ashley Wilkes, as he gave the most intelligent reading of the part in a screen test.  However, he was eventually deemed to be "too beefy" for the part.

 

Yeah, I think I remember seeing that too. Wasn't his screen test the part where Ashley tells Scarlett that while his "little brain down there" has always been very interested in her, his "big brain up here" has always overridden that and that Melanie is really the woman he should be with?

 

LOL

 

Actually, and despite Melvyn's good reading of those lines, because during that time in his career he seemed to be especially good at playing the more glib type and less the oh so earnest type like poor Ashley was, and despite the fact that the character does call for him to be more the "intellectual" sort and which Melvyn was also pretty good at, I think Selznick was probably right in ultimately selecting Leslie Howard for the role, and even though Howard is said to have really hated playing it.

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Not to deflect from Melvyn but, there's plenty of stories, true and otherwise, about who was considered for some "iconic" movie role, but passed or was passed on.  Or some other reason they didn't do it.

 

Knowing some of them, do any of you, when watching some movie connected to one of these stories, ty to imagine it with the person who was considered first?  Like, everytime I watch THE WIZARD OF OZ, I still keep trying to see BUDDY EBSEN as the Tin Man.

 

I heard (or read) a story once that RONALD REAGAN was considered for Rick in CASABLANCA.  If true, I still have a problem imagining him in it. Also if true, then the producers must have had the same problem. 

 

In fact, the legend is that Bogart made a career  out of getting roles that others turned down.

 

 

Sepiatone

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