Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Tonight's Movie: Rich Man, Poor Girl (1938)

RICH MAN, POOR GIRL, like THE AFFAIRS OF MARTHA, is a highly entertaining MGM programmer. This fun tale of a wealthy man (Robert Young) who wants to wed his secretary (Ruth Hussey), but must first overcome her reservations about their different financial backgrounds, does not pretend to be great art, but it is a great diversion.

Young is charming and Hussey was never more lovely than she was in this picture. Lana Turner plays Hussey's ebullient kid sister, and Lew Ayres comes close to reprising his role from the same year's HOLIDAY as Hussey's ne'er-do-well cousin. Guy Kibbee and Sarah Padden round out the cast as Hussey's parents, while Rita Johnson plays Young's sister.

RICH MAN, POOR GIRL was one of a small handful of English-language films directed by German-born Reinhold Schunzel. Schunzel was also an actor, most notably playing Dr. Anderson in Hitchcock's NOTORIOUS in 1946.

The movie was based on a 1929 film, THE IDLE RICH, which was in turn based on a play. It runs 70 or 72 minutes, depending on the reference source, and was filmed in black and white.

RICH MAN, POOR GIRL, like so many "B" movies of that era, is not available on DVD or VHS. It would be wonderful if at some point Warners would release DVD sets with several short MGM pictures such as this in a set. Fortunately, the movie can be seen on cable as it is part of the Turner Classic Movies library.

The original trailer can be seen on the TCM site.

2 Comments:

Blogger Carrie Liz said...

RICH MAN, POOR GIRL is one of my favorite movies (though I suspect my list of favorites may be about a mile long). I'm so glad to find that you like it too.

Best,
Carrie

11:14 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

My list of favorites is quite long too. :) This was a fun movie I'd like to see again soon. I particularly remember the scene early on where Young and Hussey were visiting a construction site. It was charming.

Best wishes,
Laura

11:22 PM  

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