Friday, January 04, 2013

Tonight's Movie: Ever Since Eve (1937)

I wasn't expecting a great deal from EVER SINCE EVE, a Warner Bros. romantic comedy starring Robert Montgomery and Marion Davies, as I'd read a couple very poor reviews. However, I'm a Robert Montgomery completist so I had to give it a try.

I kept waiting for a bad movie to show up, and I'm pleased to say it never appeared. EVER SINCE EVE was by no means a classic, but it was a cute little movie which I found consistently entertaining and enjoyable.

Davies, in her last film role, plays Marge, an attractive secretary who continually loses jobs when she rejects passes from her bosses. She decides to combat this by dressing in a dowdy tweed suit, as well as wearing a plain Jane wig and glasses, and is promptly hired as the secretary to writer Freddy, played by Montgomery.

Marge is a model of efficiency and helps Freddy work towards finishing an overdue manuscript. Meanwhile Freddy also meets and falls in love with the "real" Marge, who masquerades as her own roommate, Sadie (Patsy Kelly). It all gets very complicated, especially with Freddy's jealous girlfriend Camille (Marcia Ralston) in the picture.

Montgomery is always a charmer, worth watching in anything, and he has a couple very good lines here and there. Davies does a nice job and exhibits a winning personality, and she's also very convincing creating a completely separate alternate personality. She was 40 when the movie was released and when one looks closely it's apparent that she is a few years older than Montgomery, but the actress pulls off portraying a younger woman for most of the movie.

Montgomery was a big MGM star, so it's a bit odd seeing him playing opposite Warner Bros. stalwarts like Allen Jenkins, Frank McHugh, and Patsy Kelly. Apparently he was on loan-out. It's interesting to note that Davies' previous film, CAIN AND MABEL (1936), was also for Warner Bros. but costarred MGM's Clark Gable.

The cast also includes Louise Fazenda as Montgomery's publisher, Frederic Clarke as Montgomery's butler, and Mary Treen as an employment agency clerk.

EVER SINCE EVE was directed by Lloyd Bacon. It runs 80 minutes.

EVER SINCE EVE was shown on Turner Classic Movies yesterday on Marion Davies' birthday; she was born in Brooklyn in 1897. TCM doesn't have the trailer available, but a few clips from the film are on the TCM website.


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