Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tonight's Movie: And So They Were Married (1936)

Stephen (Melvyn Douglas) and Edith (Mary Astor) are snowed in together at a mountain resort near Los Angeles, California. At first they can't stand each other, but -- of course! -- annoyance turns to love, and they plan to marry. Just one problem: Edith's daughter Brenda (Edith Fellows) and Steve's son Tommy (Jackie Moran) dislike each other on sight. Brenda and Tommy plot to break up their parents' engagement.

This is a mildly amusing family movie about on the level of a TV sitcom, albeit with a classy cast. The movie starts out to be quite appealing, with Douglas and Astor sparring and then romancing, but the antics of the children move front and center about a third of the way into the film, and a little of that goes a long way. When the children aren't being complete brats, the movie is pleasant enough, with an appealing ski resort setting in addition to an attractive cast.

One of the best things about the film is the wintry outdoor location photography. According to IMDb, these scenes were filmed near Donner Pass, California. The sequences aren't as impressive as the scenes Douglas filmed in Idaho for I MET HIM IN PARIS (1937), where he ice skated with Claudette Colbert, but the atmosphere captured on camera is quite nice.

Edith Fellows played Melvyn Douglas's spoiled daughter the previous year in SHE MARRIED HER BOSS (1935). Fellows is quite appealing in this despite the fact that her character must spend much of the film being a pain in the neck.

Edith Fellows began her film career in 1929. Her films included the 1934 version of JANE EYRE; MRS. WIGGS OF THE CABBAGE PATCH (1934); PENNIES FROM HEAVEN (1936) with Bing Crosby; and the four FIVE LITTLE PEPPERS movies, in which she played Polly Pepper. (Having read all the PEPPERS books, I've love the chance to see those movies.) Fellows only made one screen appearance between the mid-'50s and the early '80s, when she resumed her career with a number of TV roles, including appearing as costumer designer Edith Head in a 1993 TV-movie about Grace Kelly. (Cheryl Ladd, for those who wonder, played Grace Kelly.) Miss Fellows is now 87. An interesting bit of trivia is that Fellows' son-in-law, David Lander, is known for playing "Squiggy" on LAVERNE AND SHIRLEY.

The supporting cast also includes Dorothy Stickney and Donald Meek. The movie was shot in black and white and runs 74 minutes.

This movie was directed by Elliott Nugent, whose films include THREE-CORNERED MOON (1933) and THE MALE ANIMAL (1942).

AND SO THEY WERE MARRIED has not had a VHS or DVD release, but it is part of the library available for screening on Turner Classic Movies.


Blogger jau said...

BBG was the wife in Pennies from Heaven, by the way. Just an aside.

Your compendious posts are so marvelous. Thank you!!!


10:23 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks so much, Anne!

BTW, I think maybe you mean FIVE PENNIES? I need to see that one!! Gradually trying to catch all her films. Still need to see VERTIGO (!) and would especially love to see CAUGHT.

Your kind words are much appreciated!

Best wishes,

11:21 AM  
Blogger jau said...

Yes, I do. Pennies From Heaven is great, too, though.

3:57 PM  

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