- SKU: 7693267
- Release Date: 04/04/2006
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- Closed Captioned
Love Before Breakfast was the scintillating title Universal chose over Spinster Dinner, the Faith Baldwin novel upon which this airy comedy is based. Carole Lombard is a Park Avenue beauty squired by Preston S. Foster and Cesar Romero. Since neither gentleman is a prize catch, Lombard is fey and fickle throughout the film. That's all there is to Love Before Breakfast, which might have been completely forgotten had it not been for a famous 1930s-era painting in which a detailed poster for the film is the focus of attention. There's one iconoclastic alteration in the painting: Carole Lombard has been given a black eye. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Man of the World
Still in his "sophisticated cad" period, William Powell essays the title role in Man of the World. Powell plays a smooth extortionist who preys upon wayfaring Americans in Paris. He woos lonely wives and wives-to-be, then threatens them with blackmail unless they sustain his lifestyle. One of his potential victims is Carole Lombard, with whom Powell (much against his better judgment) falls in love. Powell's vituperative mistress (Wynne Gibson) won't let her lover off the hook, and heads for the police. To avoid arrest, Powell reluctantly sends Lombard back to her fiancee--and then presumably picks up his racket where he left off. In real life, William Powell and Carole Lombard became husband and wife shortly after filming Man of the World. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
The Princess Comes Across
The 1936 comedy-mystery The Princess Comes Across might well have been inspired by a real-life incident during the silent-movie era, in which a crafty San Francisco stenographer hoodwinked the Hollywood elite into believing that she was a Spanish princess. Carole Lombard stars as an alluring Swedish beauty who travels under the name of Princess Olga. Everyone whom she meets en route to America on the steamship Mammoth bows and scrapes to the Princess, while Hollywood anxiously awaits her arrival to star her in a big-budget film. Only the ship's bandleader, King Mantell (Fred MacMurray), refuses to defer to Olga, sensing that she may not be all she claims. Mantell's instincts are right on target: the "Princess" is a brass-nickel phony, a Brooklyn girl named Wanda Nash who has cooked up her royal guise with drama coach Gertrude (Alison Skipworth) as a publicity stunt to crash into movies. Unfortunately, a weaselly blackmailer Darcy (Porter Hall) gloms onto Wanda's true identity and offers to keep quiet in exchange for a huge cash settlment. At the same time, Darcy is attempting to shake down several other passengers on the Mammoth, including King Mantell. Inevitably, Darcy is found murdered in the "Princess"'s stateroom, and Wanda finds herself one of several likely suspects, among them Mantell. A quintet of international detectives, travelling to a convention in America, sets out to solve the mystery, which becomes even more mysterious when one of the detectives also turns up dead. Taking matters in his own hands, Mantell vows to clear Wanda's name, and in the course of things he realizes that he's madly in love with her--but will Wanda give up her hoax, and her future showbiz career, for Mantell's sake? Among the many highlights in this engagingly daffy film is Fred MacMurray's rendition of the enchantingly forgettable song "My Concertina." ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Carole Lombard stars as Helen Bartlett, a compulsive liar who always tips the audience to an oncoming whopper by sticking her tongue in her cheek. Helen is married to a Kenneth Bartlett, a scrupulously honest lawyer whose integrity has always held him back professionally. Hoping to help Kenneth get ahead, Helen confesses to a murder she obviously didn't commit, confident that he'll get her off and make his reputation. But things don't go exactly as planned, thanks largely to a mysterious eccentric named Charley (John Barrymore), who assures the heroine over and over that she'll "fry." Once considered a prime example of screwball comedy, True Confession is now regarded by film buffs as one of Carole Lombard's worst pictures: it wasn't much better when remade by Betty Hutton in 1946 as Cross My Heart. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Hands Across the Table
After nearly a decade of nominal "leading lady" roles, Carole Lombard landed her first genuine starring vehicle with Hands Across the Table. Reasoning that the way to a man's heart is through his cuticles, Regi Allen (Carole Lombard) takes a job as a manicurist at a fancy barbershop, unabashedly admitting that she hopes to use this position to snag a rich husband. Sure enough, Regi's charms prove irresistable to Allen Macklyn (Ralph Bellamy) a wealthy and charming invalid, who knows that the girl is a golddigger but doesn't care. The other man in Regi's life is Theodore "Ted" Drew III (Fred MacMurray), who though born into a wealthy family is stone broke, and on the verge of marrying a rich debutante (Astrid Allwyn) to replenish his lost fortune. Hoping to briefly escape this fate and his other financial problems, Theodore hides out in Regi's apartment. It is, of course, a platonic relationship: Having been burned in the past, Regi doesn't want to get romantically entangled with a pauper, while Ted is already promised to someone else. But, as is often the case in 1930s comedies, things don't quite turn out the way that either Regi or Ted expect. Full of delightful, unexpected touches, Hands Across the Table proved to be a major boost for Carole Lombard's career, and didn't exactly do any harm to up-and-coming Fred MacMurray either. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
We're Not Dressing
We're Not Dressing is a bouncy musical-comedy variation of J. M. Barrie's The Admirable Crichton -- complete with a happier ending, as befitting its jaunty star Bing Crosby. Der Bingle is cast as Stephen Jones, a lowly crew member on yacht owned by wealthy Doris Worthington (Carole Lombard). During one memorable voyage, Doris' inebriated Uncle Dudley (Leon Errol) mans the controls of the yacht, and the result is a shipwreck on a tropical isle. Doris and her marooned society friends are then obliged to take orders from Stephen, the only one among them who knows how to fend for himself. He even manages to win over the icy Doris, though it's quite a struggle right up to the fade-out. Ethel Merman is on hand for a song or two (including a rollicking duet with Leon Errol), while George Burns and Gracie Allen show up on the not-so-deserted island as anthropologists with a full quota of rib-tickling verbal gags. Everyone involved in the making of We're Not Dressing harbored happy memories of the film, though Ray Milland (cast as Doris' snooty society fiancé) had less pleasant memories of the trained bear which figures prominently in the opening scenes. Bing Crosby's musical numbers include two of his best, "May I" and "Love Thy Neighbor." ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi