Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tonight's Movie: Never a Dull Moment (1950)

Cowpokes marrying city women seems to be a theme of my viewing this week. A couple nights ago I watched THE COWBOY AND THE LADY, and I followed that up tonight with NEVER A DULL MOMENT, which is the story of a Broadway composer (Irene Dunne) who leaves Park Avenue for the "wild west" when she marries a rancher (Fred MacMurray). The film is fairly predictable and very silly, but thanks to its cast and a brisk pace it's also entertaining.

MacMurray doesn't have a great deal to do, as it's Dunne's character who takes center stage adjusting to ranch life and learning to be a mother to MacMurray's two little girls (Natalie Wood and Gigi Perreau). Dunne is on screen a majority of the time and even gets to sing a couple of songs. She's very likeable as she keeps trying hard to be a "fair hand" despite the setbacks she encounters.

The grouchy neighbor who threatens the ranch's water supply is played by none other than MacMurray's MY THREE SONS costar, William Demarest. Ann Doran, who was so good as John Garfield's friend in PRIDE OF THE MARINES, plays a neighbor who befriends Dunne and teaches her about ranch life. Andy Devine plays MacMurray's ranch hand.

The film was directed by George Marshall and runs 89 minutes. The plot is loosely based on the true story of composer Kay Swift, who herself married a rodeo cowboy. Swift wrote the film's songs.

NEVER A DULL MOMENT is available on VHS. It can also be seen on Turner Classic Movies.

You can watch the trailer here.

NEVER A DULL MOMENT has a bit of a TV sitcom quality to it, but as such, it's a well-done sitcom with an engaging cast. It provides enjoyable family entertainment.

October 2015 Update: NEVER A DULL MOMENT is now available on DVD from the Warner Archive. My review of the DVD is here.


Blogger Missy said...

I always got a laugh that MacMurray also made the similar THE EGG AND I with Claudette Colbert. It's not exactly the same, but city woman trying to adjust to ranch life with husband.


12:03 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I haven't seen THE EGG AND I since I was a kid. Have to check it out again sometime. They do seem rather similar plotwise, now that you mention it!

I owe you a note! :) :)


12:04 AM  
Blogger Missy said...

It's been some time since I saw either of them, but I remember being confused when I stumbled across the second one. It took me a bit to realize there were two movies; maybe if I'd been older or wiser I would have caught on sooner.


7:38 AM  
Blogger Terri said...

I saw that one the other day! It's interesting to know it was based on a true story.

A note about the Egg and I...have you ever read that book? It was a little racier then the movie...LOL

6:53 AM  

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