Saturday, September 07, 2019

Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941)

Watched this one last night and realized I hadn't seen it before. I guess it was one of those Hitchcock films I always intended to get around to but actually hadn't seen yet. He supposedly made it as a favor to Carole Lombard -- although further details indicate it was a project he personally initiated on his own -- but either way, Lombard is absolutely radiant in it, and her typically brilliant comedy timing and energy gels fine with Hitchcock's direction. This was just her second-to-last film before her untimely death.

In the DVD supplements, director Richard Franklin calls this Hitchcock's only "essentially American picture" -- which is true in the sense that he's working entirely within a distinctly Hollywood genre (Screwball comedy), and engaging in pure farce rather than his usual droll sense of humor.

Despite its title, this film bears no relation to the 2005 film with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as a married couple who reveal that they are both assassins assigned to take the other one out. It's fun to imagine what Hitchcock could have done with that script...

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