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Thursday, December 28, 2017

Turnabout (1940)

An upper class Manhattan couple (Carole Landis, John Hubbard) constantly bicker with each other. When they each make a wish that they could switch lives with their spouse, an Indian idol grants their wish and they wake up in the body of their spouse. Based on the novel by Thorne Smith (TOPPER) and directed by Hal Roach. This screwball comedy was a forerunner in the body switching genre which includes movies like FREAKY FRIDAY, SWITCH, GOODBYE CHARLIE, HEAVEN CAN WAIT (1978) among others. It's fairly amusing and quite fun although it could have used a more physical comic actor than John Hubbard whose swishing around after the switch doesn't come off right, it feels cheesy. Most of the comedy comes not from the body switching so much as the reaction of the first rate supporting cast toward the switch. It must have been quite a gender bending eye opener in 1940 and I can't help but wonder how 1940 audiences reacted. With Mary Astor, Adolphe Menjou, William Gargan, Donald Meek (who steals the movie), Marjorie Main and Joyce Compton.  

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