Bill Riordan (Melvyn Douglas) decides to close his struggling detective agency and return to a steady paycheck as a special investigator for the district attorney. Unbeknownst to Bill, when his wife Sally (Joan Blondell) is clearing out the agency's office she lands a client who offers enough cash to pay their back rent. Bill and Sally ultimately end up competing with one another to solve a murder mystery in THERE'S ALWAYS A WOMAN.
THERE'S ALWAYS A WOMAN falls in the amusing-though-not great category. It's worth watching, though have I found other husband-wife mysteries, such as GRAND CENTRAL MURDER and DANGEROUS BLONDES, more entertaining. I particularly enjoyed Melvyn Douglas, but I found myself wishing that his relationship with Sally was less annoyed and confrontational and a little more romantic. Similarly, Sally was fun -- particularly when she drives her police interrogators batty -- but I wished she were a little less ditzy and a little more of a partner to her husband.
The excellent supporting cast includes Mary Astor as the client, Jerome Cowan as a local gambling tycoon, and Thurston Hall as Bill's boss, the district attorney. There was a striking secretary seen from a distance in one scene, and it turns out it was Rita Hayworth!
This movie was filmed in black and white and runs 81-82 minutes.
THERE'S ALWAYS A WOMAN was directed by Alexander Hall, whose best-known films include HERE COMES MR. JORDAN (1941) and MY SISTER EILEEN (1942). He also directed BEDTIME STORY, reviewed here a few months back.
In 1939 Hall directed Melvyn Douglas in a sequel to THERE'S ALWAYS A WOMAN, which was called THERE'S THAT WOMAN AGAIN. Virginia Bruce replaced Joan Blondell as Sally Riordan. Tom Dugan repeated his role as Detective Flannigan. Hopefully the sequel will turn up on TCM.
THERE'S ALWAYS A WOMAN has not been released on VHS or DVD. It can be seen on cable on Turner Classic Movies.
February 2013 Update: This movie is now available on DVD-R in the Sony Choice Collection.