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Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Marrying Kind (1952)

In the private chambers of a domestic court judge (Madge Kennedy), a husband (Aldo Ray) and wife (Judy Holliday) on the verge of divorce retrace their bumpy relationship in flashback. With George Cukor in the director's chair and a screenplay by Garson Kanin and Ruth Gordon and the enormously appealing Holliday and Ray in the lead roles, is it too much to expect something better? Oh, it's not bad at all mind you but it is rather pedestrian. Clearly, the intent of the script is to show us that in spite of their differences, this couple belongs together. But from what we're shown, they don't belong together. Over 90 minutes of constant bickering, unreasonable demands and hollering at each other and one wants to scream "just leave him/her!". While it's nice that the protagonists are a struggling working class couple instead of the usual (for its day) upper class couple (think ADAM'S RIB), there's no balance in the film. When the most affecting moments in the film surround the death of a child, you know the writers have run out of ideas. Thankfully, Holliday and Aldo Ray have a genuine chemistry that steamrolls over the movie's tiresome battles. With Peggy Cass, Mickey Shaughnessy, Charles Bronson, Nancy Kulp, John Alexander and Joan Shawlee.

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