Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tonight's Movie: Love on the Run (1936)

I had to laugh when LOVE ON THE RUN started with an establishing shot of coincidence, six of the last eight films I've watched have been set in London.

The action soon shifts to France and elsewhere as runaway bride Sally Parker (Joan Crawford) hits the road with incognito newspaperman Mike Anthony (Clark Gable). Sally and Mike are pursued by a rival reporter, Barney (Franchot Tone), and also find themselves mixed up with a spy (Reginald Owen).

This is one of the weaker entries in the reporter-heiress screwball comedy subgenre. The three leads give it their all, but it's a silly story with an uninspired script, and Gable and Tone tricking each other gets old after a while. Gable and Crawford take a lengthy detour in a French castle with a crazy caretaker (Donald Meek) who sees ghosts, and the goings-on with the spy ring are neither suspenseful nor funny.

It's a movie I really wanted to like, but while it was pleasant having the cast on the screen, all in all it was fairly dull going despite a brief 80-minute run time.

The supporting cast includes Mona Barrie, William Demarest, and Billy Gilbert. Leonid Kinskey has an amusing wordless turn as a train passenger.

LOVE ON THE RUN was directed by W.S. Van Dyke. It was filmed in black and white.

When Crawford's not wearing an awful flight suit disguise or a bizarre getup with sunglasses under a veil, she wears a couple of pretty gowns designed by Adrian.

This film has been released on VHS. It is also available in DVD-R format from the Warner Archive.

The movie can also be seen on Turner Classic Movies, which has the trailer available here.


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