EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|ONE RAINY AFTERNOON (director: Rowland V Lee; screenwriters: Maurice Hanline/Stephen Morehouse Avery/story "Monsieur Sans-Gene" by Emeric Pressburger and René Pujol; cinematographer: Peverell Marley/Merritt Gerstad; editor: Margaret Clancy; music: Jack Stern; cast: Francis Lederer (Philippe Martin), Ida Lupino (Monique Pelerin), Hugh Herbert (Toto), Countess Liev de Maigret (Yvonne), Erik Rhodes (Count Alfredo Donstelli), Joseph Cawthorn (Pelerin), Donald Meek (Judge), Eily Malyon (President of Purity League), Roland Young (Maillot), Mischa Auer (Leading Man), Murray Kinnell (Theater Manager), Richard Carle (Minister of Justice); Runtime: 80; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Jesse L. Lasky; Synergy Entertainment; 1936)|
|"Substandard screwball comedy has
the silliness but lacks the humor, as its
directed without an ear for zany comedy by
Rowland V Lee."
by Dennis Schwartz
an all wet United Artist remake of the
French comedy Monsieur Sans-Gene (1935), whose
frothy story is by Emeric Pressburger and
René Pujol. The substandard
screwball comedy has the silliness but lacks the
humor, as its directed without an ear for zany comedy
by Rowland V Lee ("Zoo in Budapest"/"Son of
Frankenstein"/"Captain Kidd"). Writer Stephen
Morehouse Avery tries but fails to sustain comedy over
an embarrassing incident in a Paris movie theater,
where a minor stage actor gigolo, Philippe
Martin (Francis Lederer),
when given the wrong seat by the usher to meet his
date, after arriving late, mistakenly kisses another
woman, the daughter of a powerful newspaper publisher
named Monique Pelerin (Ida
Lupino), instead of the married
lady Yvonne (Countess Liev de
Maigret) he had a rendezvous with. In
the audience is the busybody President
of the Purity League (Eily
Malyon), who makes a big deal
of it by calling it a national scandal and gets
Philippe charged with misconduct. In court, Philippe
defends himself by saying it's natural for a
Frenchman to be romantic, while being a
gentleman and not revealing who the kisses were
really intended for. The
surprise comes later when it's revealed
Yvonne's hubby is a powerful politician.
sentenced to three days, but his fine is paid
for by Monique.
When released Philippe becomes a national
celebrity and is welcomed back with a raise to
the show he was just fired from by the Savoy
Theater producer Maillot (Roland
Young), because of the good publicity.
Predictably a romance between the actor and
publisher's daughter, engaged to a moronic count
Rhodes), is spurred on by the incident.
It lamely plays as a satire on the French politicians and their hypocrisy over morals. Unfortunately it lacks the wit or romantic twist to make the effort worthwhile.
REVIEWED ON 12/28/2012 GRADE: C
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ