Monday, April 14, 2008

Tonight's Movie: Tell It to the Judge (1949)

TELL IT TO THE JUDGE is a fairly typical Hollywood divorce comedy, with Rosalind Russell and Robert Cummings as a couple who can't seem to agree on either marriage or divorce.

Russell's character is a judge with a pending appointment to the federal bench, whose marital shenanigans with her lawyer husband throw her confirmation into question. Misunderstandings and complications abound regarding a comely material witness (Marie McDonald) for one of the husband's cases; a smooth-talking gambling shill (Gig Young) the judge passes off as her new husband; and the judge's devious grandfather (Harry Davenport), who will stop at nothing to salvage her judicial appointment.

It's all very silly, but the stars are fun and provide pleasant, undemanding entertainment.

There are many great character actors in small parts, including Louise Beavers, Thurston Hall, Clem Bevans, Herb Vigran, Jay Novello, Frank Sully, and perennial bit part queen Bess Flowers.

This movie runs 87 minutes. The superb set decoration is by William Kiernan, and the film was photographed by Joseph Walker, who shot many great films including several Frank Capra classics. Rosalind Russell's gowns are by Jean Louis.

TELL IT TO THE JUDGE was directed by Norman Foster. You can read more about Foster's interesting career at my post on WEEK-END MARRIAGE. A curious bit of trivia is that late in life, then-widowed costume designer Jean Louis would marry Foster's sister-in-law, Loretta Young.

TELL IT TO THE JUDGE has been released on VHS. It can also be seen on Turner Classic Movies.

Click here to indicate interest in a DVD release.

Update: This movie is now available on DVD-R from Sony/Columbia.


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