|FOUR'S A CROWD (director: Michael Curtiz; screenwriters: Casey Robinson/Sid Herzig/from the novel All Rights Reserved by Wallace Sullivan; cinematographer: Ernie Haller; editor: Clarence Kolster; music: Eddie Durant/Ray Heindorf/M.K. Jerome/Heinz Roemheld; cast: Errol Flynn (Robert Kensington Lansford), Olivia de Havilland (Lorri Dillingwell), Rosalind Russell (Jean Christy), Patric Knowles (Patterson Buckley), Walter Connolly (John P. Dillingwell), Hugh Herbert (Silas Jenkins); Runtime: 91; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: David Lewis/Hal B. Wallis/Jack L. Warner; Warner Brothers; 1938)|
lighthearted romantic screwball comedy that is
as dumb as it is energetic."
by Dennis Schwartz
Fury"/"Noah's Ark") directs this old-fashioned
lighthearted romantic screwball comedy that is as dumb
as it is energetic, and hardly original as it follows
along the lines of too many familiar farce comedies.
It was supposedly based on the life of Ivy
Ledbetter Lee, a public relations man for the
Rockefeller family, and is based on the novel
All Rights Reserved by Wallace Sullivan.
Writers Casey Robinson and Sid Herzig
eschew any sense of reality to exaggerate things and
shoot for laughs anyway they can get them. The madcap
comedy does its darnedest to satirize big business for
hiring unscrupulous PR people to cover up their
defects by any means possible and gain a good public
ace reporter Jean Christy (Rosalind
Russell) learns the playboy
millionaire publisher Patterson "Pat"
Buckley (Patric Knowles) plans to close the
newspaper where she works, she convinces the
dim-witted publisher to rehire the arrogant conceited
former managing editor, Robert Kensington
Lansford (Errol Flynn), he previously fired to save
the paper from financial ruin. The conceited
fast-talker Lansford now has a public relations
business and is rebuffed by the
mean-spirited eccentric millionaire John P.
Connolly) while chasing after him as a
potential client. The tycoon happens to be
the grandfather of the pretty heiress Lorri
Dillingwell (Olivia de Havilland),
who is dating the publisher. When working again for
the paper, Lansford runs an expose on a questionable
business deal made by Dillingwell that made him a
bundle and the tycoon thereby becomes
the most hated man in America despite his noted
philanthropy. Lorri blames her boyfriend publisher for
running the story and breaks up with him. Later
Lansford impresses toy train enthusiast Dillingwell
with his skill running model trains and is
miraculously hired to work for him.
The gist of the story has Lansford fall for Lorri while at the same time showing a romantic interest for Jean, and it ends in a whirlwind of nonsense that's neither funny nor witty but always amiable and daffy.
Hugh Herbert's comedy scene as the goofy justice of the peace, gives the films its belly laughs.
REVIEWED ON 12/29/2013 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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