And now for the 4th instalment of my 100 Days of Old Movies:
31: Smart Woman (1931)
A wife should stick to her husband. If she doesn't, some other woman will!
I drew Mary Astor alone for this movie, mainly because the husband in this film is a total dead loss and I didn't think he deserved to be included. I'm harsh, aren't I?
Mary Astor returns home from visiting her sick mother in Europe, longing to see her husband, to whom she is devoted. She's met a very nice English lord (John Halliday) on the boat, but she's told him that she loves her husband (Robert Ames). However, when she gets home, she's met by her sister-in-law and her husband (Edward Everett Horton) who tell her that hubby dear is off with a new woman she's met. Mary is devastated. But she's also smart (unless you count her unaccountable penchant for that husband of hers...). She acts like she's not upset, invites the gold-digging mistress and her mother down for the weekend, and brings out the big guns - that rich English lord she met on the boat, whom she says she's leaving her husband for - that, of course, is why she's not upset. She knows her husband didn't read the last three letters she sent, so she tells him that she'd written to say she wanted a divorce. Halliday refuses to pretend to be in love with her, it cuts too close to the bone, but he does help her, drawing away the mistress and helping the Ames to realise that he really loves Mary after all.
I really enjoyed this film, it's full of smart wise-cracks and excellent dialogue for such an early talkie. And while watching it we can lament the fact that tea-gown are no longer wardrobe necessities.
Here is a clip. TCM would choose clips that don't feature wise-cracks, wouldn't they?
More below the cut: