Longtime readers may recall that I've never been much of a Marlene Dietrich fan, but despite that, I recently purchased the DVD set Marlene Dietrich: The Glamour Collection.
This five-film set was on sale from Amazon for just $7.19, and it came highly recommended by my father, whose tastes usually coincide with mine. What's more, the set includes GOLDEN EARRINGS (1947), directed by Mitchell Leisen and costarring Ray Milland; I love their films and hadn't realized it was out on DVD.
Rene Clair, who did such a good job with the fantasies I MARRIED A WITCH (1942) and IT HAPPENED TOMORROW (1944). The movie has a marvelous supporting cast, starting with Bruce Cabot and Roland Young, and to my pleasant surprise it proved to be delightful, worth the price of the set in and of itself.
Dietrich plays an impoverished countess in New Orleans who sets a marital trap for wealthy buffoon Charles Giraud (Roland Young). The seemingly meek and mild-mannered countess is secretly attracted to a sailor, Robert Latour (Bruce Cabot). Robert's as broke as she is, so she plans to go through with her wedding.
This comedy was written by Norman Krasna, who was behind many wonderful comedies such as BACHELOR MOTHER (1939) and IT STARTED WITH EVE (1941), and it was filmed with an airy, light touch by director Clair. In the wrong hands this story could easily have been leaden, but it's stylishly presented by a cast which seems to be having a grand time.
Cabot makes a credible Gable-esque leading man in this, and Roland Young does his typically effective job as the befuddled Giraud, who's not as smart as he thinks he is.
It's always a pleasure to see Theresa Harris, who has a substantial role as the countess's saucy, calculating maid Clementine, who tries to keep the countess on track for a wealthy marriage.
The deep cast includes Franklin Pangborn, Melville Cooper, Mischa Auer, Laura Hope Crews, Anne Revere, Clarence Muse, Dorothy Adams, Andy Devine, Frank Jenks, and Eddie Quillan.
Reed Hadley and Mary Treen can be spotted in small roles as party guests; alas, I missed Bess Flowers, but she's apparently in there somewhere! I'll have to pop the DVD back in for the "Find Bess Flowers" game.
This Universal film was produced by Joe Pasternak and elegantly photographed by future director Rudolph Mate. Future director Phil Karlson was an assistant director.
The movie had a separate single-title DVD release in the Universal Vault Series sold via Amazon. The film can be rented from ClassicFlix.
It also had a release on VHS.
Since I enjoyed this movie a great deal I'm hopeful I'll find the other films in the set equally entertaining; in addition to a film with Ray Milland, other titles feature Gary Cooper and Cary Grant. BLONDE VENUS (1932) is one of a relatively small number of Grant films I've never seen; the majority of my yet-unseen Grant films are pre-Codes. A set worth checking out, especially at current pricing.