Thursday, February 16, 2017

Tonight's Movie: Women Are Like That (1938)

Kay Francis and Pat O'Brien star in the Warner Bros. marital melodrama WOMEN ARE LIKE THAT (1938).

The movie opens in promising fashion, as Claire (Francis) leaves her stuffy society fiance Martin (Ralph Forbes) at the altar and elopes with Bill (O'Brien).

All is well at first, but then Claire's irresponsible father (Thurston Hall) embezzles money from the advertising agency where Bill and Martin both work. Bill proposes to essentially work for free until the money is recouped if the partners will shield his wife from knowing what her father did.

Bill becomes frustrated as business tanks under Martin's leadership. When Claire is able to land an account for the struggling company, Bill isn't thrilled -- he's humiliated and in short order takes off on a long trip just like her father did. Can this marriage be saved?

WOMEN ARE LIKE THAT stars two favorite Warner Bros. actors in Francis and O'Brien, but while the film has its pleasant moments, it's on the tedious side. Bill's about face from loving husband to obnoxious jerk is hard to take, even factoring in different attitudes of the era, and the couple spend more of the movie bickering than romancing.

It's one of those films which is pleasant "background noise" to have on the TV, thanks to the lead actors and Francis's typically lovely gowns by Orry-Kelly, but the plot is forgettable and all in all it could have been a lot better.

The supporting cast includes Grant Mitchell, Sarah Edwards, Melville Cooper, Joyce Compton, and Gordon Oliver. Carole Landis, who would become a friend of O'Brien's and costar with him in the terrific SECRET COMMAND (1944), has a prominent bit role as a guest at a cocktail party. They would also appear together in HAVING WONDERFUL CRIME (1945) before her untimely death in 1948.

WOMEN ARE LIKE THAT runs 79 minutes. It was directed by Stanley Logan. The movie was filmed in black and white by Sid Hickox.

This film is not available on VHS or DVD. It may be seen on Turner Classic Movies. The trailer is at the TCM website.


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