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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Man Proof (1938)

After the man (Walter Pidgeon) she loves jilts her for another woman (Rosalind Russell), a headstrong young woman (Myrna Loy) thinks she's over him and wants to be friends. But what the heart wants, the heart wants. Based on the novel THE FOUR MARYS by Fanny Heaslip Lea and directed by Richard Thorpe (JAILHOUSE ROCK). There's a jarring shift in tone in this film which appears to be a sophisticated romcom at the beginning before switching over to a melodramatic romantic triangle before quickly going back to breezy romcom for the fade out. In an unusual role for Loy who usually plays likable and sensible down to earth characters, here she's a neurotic woman who won't let go of her romantic fantasies. The four leading players (Franchot Tone is the 4th) are all engaging screen actors so that helps override the inconsistencies in the narrative. If the film belongs to anybody, it belongs to Rosalind Russell who's the most likable character in the movie and way too good for the man she's married to, indeed too good for everyone else either. She also has the best scene in the film when she realizes what a sad cad her husband is. With Nana Bryant and John Miljan.

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