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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Goodbye My Fancy (1951)

A U.S. congresswoman (Joan Crawford) is due to receive an honorary degree from the college where she was expelled from some 20 years earlier. What should be an uneventful weekend turns complicated when she renews her relationship with the professor (Robert Young) who was the cause of her being expelled as well as the presence of an old beau (Frank Lovejoy). Then there's the controversial film she made which is getting the conservatives on the university's trustee board all in a dither. Based on the 1947 play by Fay Kanin, the film needed more political heat to make it crackle. I've not read Ms. Kanin's play but I suspect some of the play's politics were toned down for the film version. As it stands, it's an innocuous well intentioned romantic comedy with minor political overtones. It's amusing to see Crawford of all people spouting about education, political oppression and war. I think my favorite moment is when she, with her eyes literally popping out of her head, delivers the line with a straight face, "My eyes are wide open!". Fortunately there's the acidic Eve Arden dropping wisecracks to deflate Crawford's pompousness. Directed by Vincent Sherman. With Janice Rule (in her film debut), Lurene Tuttle, John Qualen, Ellen Corby, Ann Robinson, Virginia Gibson and Morgan Farley.

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