Readers, it has been a long time since my last installment of Treasures From the Warner Archive! I’ve been so bogged down with various film-related projects over the past several months that I feel as though it has been decades since my post about Going Hollywood. But we will fix that this evening with a look at In Name Only, a magnificently cast movie that should have skyrocketed to the top of the list of the most famous Carole Lombard films, but somehow never really made it there.
Alec Walker (Cary Grant) doesn’t love his wife, Maida (Kay Francis), but feels stuck in the marriage until he meets Julie (Carole Lombard), and falls in love with her. Maida, however, is not so willing to give him up and uses her cunning and wiles to keep him with her at all costs.
The story of a young man stuck in a loveless marriage who tries to marry the woman he loves is a familiar yarn in these post-Code years, but this is certainly one rife with a great deal of physical beauty. Cary Grant and Carole Lombard bring their own recognized brands of attractiveness to their roles, but it is Kay Francis who steals the show in this regard.
Kay Francis is one of the most under-celebrated beauties of her time. A talented and sought-after actress in the pre-Code days, she was named “box office poison” in 1938 and her career faltered. Carole Lombard, renowned for using her power to revive the careers of her fellow actors, demanded that Kay Francis be her co-star in In Name Only. With Francis’ raven-black hair, olive complexion and alto voice, she should have been in competition with the likes of Hedy Lamarr and Lana Turner. But instead, despite Carole Lombard’s best efforts, she was relegated to character roles for the rest of her career and never truly regained the momentum that her star power had achieved in the early 1930s. A sad ending for a talented and shining star.
This movie may have garnered more attention had it not been released in the legendary year of 1939. Though it is a solid effort, it had no chance of going up against the hype that was afforded The Wizard of Oz, Gone With the Wind, Stagecoach, Goodbye Mr. Chips, and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. More than anything, I think the failure of In Name Only to live up to its potential was due to the fact that it had the misfortune to be released in the most celebrated year in cinema history.
See you next time!
Well, readers, I must say, this blogathon has been a great success! On behalf of Carole & Co. and myself, thank you to everyone who submitted your posts. We so appreciate all the time and energy that went into these fantastic, informative entries, and we love reading all your work.
So without further ado, here are the final installments:
From our good friend Ivan at Thrilling Days of Yesteryear, we kick off our shoes for some Easy Living. http://thrillingdaysofyesteryear.blogspot.com/2014/05/the-romantic-comedy-blogathon-easy.html
At The Vintage Cameo, Garbo laughs in Ninotchka! http://www.thevintagecameo.com/2014/05/ninotchka-1939/
Don’t drink anything the old ladies give you at Amy’s Rib: A Life at the Movies, because she’s serving up the fabulous Arsenic and Old Lace. http://amysrib.blogspot.com/2014/05/the-romantic-comedy-blogathon-arsenic.html
Don’t wait to go over to The Merry Widow Waltz for a wonderful analysis of Heaven Can Wait. http://randompicturesblog.net/2014/05/04/the-merry-widow-waltz-lubitschs-heaven-can-wait/
Our blogathon regular Dorian at Tales of the Easily Distracted tells us how There’s Always a Woman. http://doriantb.blogspot.com/2014/05/theres-always-woman-blondell-ambition.html
At Movies Silently, we get a taste of early Lubitsch in The Merry Jail.
At Girls Do Film, demand the ale that won for Yale (rah, rah, rah!) because it’s The Lady Eve!
Go to Journeys in Classic Film for a crash course in culture (and maybe a good game of gin!), because Kristen is giving us Born Yesterday. http://journeysinclassicfilm.com/2014/05/05/born-yesterday-1950/
And my own contribution–from Backlots, it’s a case of mistaken identity in Ever Since Eve. https://backlots.net/2014/05/04/the-romantic-comedy-blogathon-ever-since-eve-1937/
Whew! That’s it, folks. Hope to see you next year at the second annual Romantic Comedy Blogathon!
The Romantic Comedy Blogathon rolls on today with some more fantastic entries! Without further ado, here they are. Thanks to everyone who has participated thus far, Vince and I are very pleased with the turnout!
Silver Screenings gives us a peek into the science of romantic comedy, through the lens of one of my personal favorite movies of all time, Show People. http://silverscreenings.org/2014/05/01/the-science-of-romantic-comedy/
Over at The Joy and Agony of Movies, we get an informative write-up of the beloved Audrey Hepburn vehicle Sabrina. http://lipranzer.wordpress.com/2014/05/02/romantic-comedy-blogathon-sabrina/
Be sure to put on your dancing shoes, because our friend Patricia at Caftan Woman is giving us a Footlight Serenade. http://caftanwoman.blogspot.ca/2014/05/the-romantic-comedy-blogathon-footlight.html
Kim at I See a Dark Theater tells us all about Over 21, and the wonderful reason she chose a straight comedy for a romantic comedy blogathon! http://www.iseeadarktheater.com/#!over-21-5-2-14/c21ev
Minoo at The Classic Movie Hub takes on a legendary movie that could fit just about any genre, but we are so glad to feature it as a romantic comedy! Minoo presents: The Thin Man. http://www.classicmoviehub.com/blog/the-romantic-comedy-blogathon-the-thin-mans-perfect-marriage/
We at the Romantic Comedy Blogathon do not discriminate against newer films, and we are delighted to have our first look at a modern-era romantic comedy this evening, as Rich at Wide Screen World looks at Bridget Jones’ Diary. http://widescreenworld.blogspot.com/2014/05/bridget-joness-diary.html?m=1
Thanks all, and see you tomorrow for Day 3 of the Romantic Comedy Blogathon! 2 more days to get those entries in!
It’s here, readers! Vince and I have been collecting entries all day for the Romantic Comedy Blogathon, and without any further ado, I give you the 7 entries we received today. Enjoy, and be sure to tune back in tomorrow for Day 2!
Over at Cary Grant Won’t Eat You, Leah gives us 5 reasons why English majors will love the zany 1941 romantic comedy Ball of Fire. http://carygrantwonteatyou.com/englishmajors-balloffire/
Meanwhile, at The Blonde at the Film, we get an enthusiastic review of one of Cameron’s favorite comedies, The More the Merrier. http://theblondeatthefilm.com/2014/05/01/the-more-the-merrier-1943/
And at The Man on the Flying Trapeze, David gives us a rundown of Monkey Business (which he likes better than one certain other beloved screwball comedy…see which one!) http://moviedavid.blogspot.com/2014/05/my-romantic-comedy-blogathon-entry.html
Mildred’s Fatburgers cooks up some romance, Reno-style, with the beloved comedy The Awful Truth. http://www.mildredsfatburgers.com/1/post/2014/05/the-road-to-reno-is-paved-with-suspicions.html
Vanessa over at Stardust takes a look at a movie without which no romantic comedy blogathon could ever be complete. In fact, it needs no introduction. The winner of the first Oscar sweep, it’s…. http://bwallover.blogspot.ca/2014/04/the-romantic-comedy-blogathon-it.html
Critica Retro looks at a Frank Capra masterpiece where romantic comedy meets straight drama, in her rundown of Meet John Doe. As always, remember to hit Le’s handy translate button located on the right side of her page if you don’t speak Portuguese! http://www.criticaretro.blogspot.com.br/2014/05/adoravel-vagabundo-meet-john-doe-1941.html
And finally, last for today but certainly not least, my fabulous co-host for this blogathon over at Carole & Co. takes a look at Carole Lombard’s Lady By Choice. When Vince talks about Carole Lombard, you’re hearing from a true expert! http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/691567.html
That’s all for today, folks! Tune in tomorrow for the next installment of the Romantic Comedy Blogathon!