Saturday, June 02, 2007

Tonight's Movie: Love Before Breakfast (1936)

LOVE BEFORE BREAKFAST is a typically giddy screwball comedy. As the story begins, business magnate Scott Miller (Preston Foster) is in hot pursuit of beautiful Kay Colby (Carole Lombard), who's just become engaged to Bill Wadsworth (Cesar Romero). Scott will stop at nothing to win Kay's hand, even if it means buying the company Bill works for so he can ship Bill off to work in Japan.

It's a lightweight story without much to it, but Carole Lombard is onscreen about 97% of the time, and that's really all that matters. Lombard looks glamorous as always, atttired in Travis Banton gowns, and no one else could ever quite match her unique combination of beauty, daffiness, and vulnerability.

Cesar Romero is always fun, and Preston Foster acquits himself adequately as the film's leading man.

Betty Lawford, who plays the Contessa, was a cousin of actor Peter Lawford. Janet Beecher plays Carole's mother. Beecher made roughly 4 dozen films in a 10-year period; among her best-known roles was Tyrone Power's mother in THE MARK OF ZORRO (1940).

LOVE BEFORE BREAKFAST runs a quick 70 minutes and was filmed in black and white. Master screwball writer-director Preston Sturges is said to have worked uncredited on the screenplay.

Walter Lang directed many classic musicals previously reviewed here, including STATE FAIR, MOON OVER MIAMI, SONG OF THE ISLANDS, and WEEK-END IN HAVANA. (Click titles for reviews.) Lang's other titles include SITTING PRETTY, CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN, DESK SET, and THE KING AND I.

LOVE BEFORE BREAKFAST is available on DVD as part of the 6-film Carole Lombard Glamour Collection. Another film in the set, THE PRINCESS COMES ACROSS, was reviewed here last July. Although there are no extras in the DVD set, the prints of both films I've seen have been excellent, and the set is quite a bargain, given that it contains six films and is generally available online for under $20.

Update: LOVE BEFORE BREAKFAST is now also available as a single-title DVD from the Universal Vault Series.

2021 Update: This film will be released on Blu-ray by Kino Lorber in April 2021 as part of the Carole Lombard Collection II.


Blogger movie props said...

What a good write up about Love before breakfast. It was a good movie

5:51 AM  

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