Friday, August 11, 2017

An Uncertain Feeling 1941

     This film is based on the play Divorcons that opened in Paris in December 1880.  The setting is New York in 1940, Jill Baker has a problem and she is persuaded to see a popular psychoanalyst because she has psychosomatic hiccups.  After seeing the doctor, she becomes disillusioned about her husband Larry Baker.  She meets pianist Alexander Sebastian in the doctor’s waiting room and he’s more confused than Jill?  She invites Alexander to come to a dinner party she is hosting that evening.  This is a dinner to help Larry win over an important business client.
      Larry has become boring and he doesn’t pay attention to his wife.  This leads to her being swept off her feet by Alexander.  Larry doesn’t know it but his attorney’s secretary is in love with him?  Larry, Jill and Alexander are very selfish and they are interested in their own needs.  They play also tricks on each other to further their own causes.  The theme is men are the superior beings?  I thought Merle Oberon was a beautiful woman and she has lovely clothing.  

84 min, Comedy directed by Ernst Lubitsch with Merle Oberon, Melvyn Douglas, Burgess Meredith, Alan Mowbray, Olive Blakeney, Harry Davenport, Sig Ruman, Eve Arden, Richard Carle.

Note:  Imdb 6.8 out of 10, 60% critic 56% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 3.7* out of 5* with 71 reviews, TCM Leonard Maltin 3* out of 4*, Letterboxd 3.2* out of 5* with 424 reviews.
Special Note:  Merle Oberon doesn’t have very many close-ups in this film.  She was recovering from her second session of cosmetic poisoning.  She had pits and sores on her face that could not be covered with makeup.  (I didn’t notice any of this?)  This film had an indifferent reception but the cast treasured the experience of working with director Lubitsch because of the atmosphere he created.  This is a loose remake of Kiss Me Again by Lubitsch of 1925.  Sol Lesser had formed a partnership with Lubitsch but it was dissolved when this film did poorly at the box office.  The original copyright holder did not renew the copyright and the film became under public domain.  Many versions on the market are poor quality.

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