Today is Saturday, so it’s time for this week’s first 100+ New Code Films article. This is the first week of March, so today’s article is our first article in this series of the month! I watch and review at least two new Code films each week for this series. In case this is your first experience with this series, I consider “new Code films” to be Breen Era (1934-1954) movies which were made in America. I call those twenty years the Breen Era because that was the period when Joseph I. Breen was the head of the Production Code Administration (PCA). During Mr. Breen’s careful leadership, the PCA properly enforced the Motion Picture Production Code. The results were thousands of wonderful Code films, which were and remain appropriate and entertaining for all ages!
Today’s topic is Love Crazy from 1941. I heard about this film a little while ago and thought it sounded hilarious. I don’t think it was on Amazon Prime Video then. However, I recently discovered that it had been added, so I put it on our watchlist. On Friday morning, my mother suggested we watch a film with breakfast. It was my choice, and I selected this film!
A married couple is excited to celebrate their wedding anniversary, which includes elaborate commemorative rituals. However, their romantic plans are spoiled when the wife’s annoying mother arrives. She sprains her ankle when she trips over the rug, and then she insists that her daughter has to go pick up a relative who is coming to town. In her absence, a woman who also lives in the building and is the husband’s former sweetheart, calls and asks him out for a drink. Desperate to escape his mother-in-law, he accepts and goes to meet her. However, when his wife finds out later that evening, she assumes that he had a compromising rendezvous with the other woman. He protests that it is only circumstantial evidence, but she leaves him that night and begins planning for divorce. Desperate to keep his wife from divorcing him, the husband takes the only course option to him: he pretends to be insane so that the divorce will be delayed.
This movie stars William Powell, Myrna Loy, and Gail Patrick. Supporting actors include Jack Carson, Florence Bates, Sidney Blackmer, Sig Ruman, and Vladimir Sokoloff.
This movie was directed by Jack Conway. It was produced by Pandro S. Berman. The production company was MGM. The screenplay was written by William Ludwig, Charles Lederer, and David Hertz. The original story was by David Hertz and William Ludwig.
This is a good Code film. Although the story is a bit ludicrous at times, it exemplifies a good message about the importance of fighting for your marriage. The Code always encouraged films to uphold the holy state of matrimony, so I’m sure the PCA members appreciated the lengths to which this film’s leading man goes to preserve his marriage. Aside from that core element of Codishness, this film has no surface problems. I didn’t detect any Code violations. There are no big things, like foul language, nudity, or excessive violence, or little things, like forbidden expressions, indecent costumes, or suggestive dialogue. It is wholesome and decent as well as thoroughly entertaining!
I highly recommend this movie! It is hilarious! I’m sure all classic film fans are familiar with the famous pairing of William Powell and Myrna Loy. Aside from their iconic pairing as Nick and Nora Charles in the six Thin Man films, they made several other films together. In fact, they made fourteen films together in all! If you have never seen one of their collaborations, I think that this, their tenth film, is a great place to start. If you’ve seen any of the numerous comedies made by these two actors, either together or apart, during the MGM days, I don’t need to tell you that their comedic timing and charm is impeccable. Adding to the cast are some strong supporting actors, including Gail Patrick as the other woman. Florence Bates is very funny as the frustrating mother-in-law, who seems none too sorry that her daughter’s marriage might break up. Jack Carson has a humorous role as a rival for Myrna Loy’s affections. Of course, this film’s claim to fame is the fact that it features William Powell dressed as a woman! His character shaves his mustache and dons a conservative dress to impersonate his own sister. Surprisingly, the very masculine Mr. Powell looks quite convincing as a middle-aged lady! The antics which ensue are quite out of the ordinary. Love Crazy is a crazy movie, but you’ll love it!
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