Saturday, July 04, 2015

Tonight's Movie: That Other Woman (1942)

THAT OTHER WOMAN is a fun little "B" romance from 20th Century-Fox, starring James Ellison and Virginia Gilmore.

Emily Borden (Gilmore) works as the secretary to architect Henry Summers (Ellison), and she's pined after handsome, woman-chasing Henry for years.

Emily's Southern Grandma (Alma Kruger) comes up with a plan for Emily to capture Henry's attention by sending him anonymous notes from the "Pink Lady." The mysterious Pink Lady professes her admiration of Henry, and the plan is that, having caught Henry's notice at last, eventually Emily will reveal herself as the sender of the notes. However, matters end up spiraling out of control in ways that Emily and Grandma didn't anticipate.

Further complicating matters is Emily's Southern beau Ralph (Dan Duryea), who'd like to marry Emily himself. Ralph believes, with some cause, that Henry is a potential threat to Emily's reputation, not to mention his own hopes to marry Emily.

This is a cute little 75-minute movie directed by Ray McCarey. Its breezy, lightweight style and tone is fairly similar to other "B" romances McCarey directed for the same studio, such as THE COWBOY AND THE BLONDE (1941) and THE PERFECT SNOB (1942).

Virginia Gilmore, previously seen in BERLIN CORRESPONDENT (1942), does a good job in the lead role. She reminded me uncannily, in both looks and voice, of Jane Greer, whose film career had not yet started. Rather surprisingly, Gilmore's film career petered out within a couple years of this film being released, though she continued to occasionally work in television; she married Yul Brynner in 1944 so perhaps she intentionally cut back on her career. It's a shame, as as I can imagine her being as effective a leading lady in film noir as Jane Greer.

I've always liked James Ellison, but I found Duryea's "other man" Southern gent more appealing! Duryea definitely ups the film's energy level in any scene he's in.

Having watched so many Dr. Kildare films in recent months, it was a lot of fun watching Alma Kruger as Emily's Grandma. Her performance in this gave me an appreciation for just how good an actress Kruger was, as the drawling Grandma is quite a different character from starchy Head Nurse Molly Byrd.

Curiously, Lon McCallister is sixth-billed yet I don't recall him or anyone by his character's name showing up on the film!

The supporting cast includes Janis Carter, George Chandler, Charles Arnt, Minerva Urecal, Paul Fix, Mike Mazurki, and Ann E. Todd.

The script for THAT OTHER WOMAN was by Jack Jungmeyer. It was filmed in black and white by Joseph McDonald.

THAT OTHER WOMAN is available on DVD in a lovely print from Fox Cinema Archives. Although some of the FCA DVD prints have been iffy, I've found the black and white films of the early '40s in this series generally look very good.

I rented the DVD from ClassicFlix.


Blogger John G. said...

Well, Laura, this will be a test to see if you respond to your old blog posts. :-)

It was a combination of wanting to see more of Janis Carter after watching [I]Night Editor[/I] and this review where you mentioned that Virginia Gilmore was a dead ringer for Jane Greer (one of my all-time faves) that recently led me to order the Fox Cinema Archives DVD-R.

You were right about Gilmore--other than being more cheerful than Greer usually got to be in her roles, it was like watching a body double. I enjoyed the movie a lot, and will eventually order the other three Gilmore movies released by Fox Cinema Archives.

You reviewed one of them ("Berlin Correspondent") and didn't seem to care much for it. Do you recall by chance how much screen time Gilmore got? A lot? A few scenes? Speaking of screen time, I was surprised by how little Janis Carter got in "That Other Woman." Probably three or four minutes tops.

4:36 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi John!

Yep, I'm always alerted thanks to moderation and really enjoy hearing from people when they get a chance to catch up with something I've seen!

Was really interested to hear that you also saw the strong resemblance between Gilmore and Jane Greer!

It's been a few years since I saw BERLIN CORRESPONDENT; I seem to recall Gilmore having a fairly good-sized role but the memory is too vague for me to be more precise.

Speaking of Janis Carter, I had hoped to see NIGHT EDITOR again last weekend, on a big screen for the first time, but was coming down with the flu and didn't get the chance. She always brings a lot of spark to her movies. I especially enjoyed her in FRAMED.

Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts!

Best wishes,

4:50 PM  
Blogger John G. said...

Thanks for the reply, Laura.

I have "Night Editor" as part of the two-volume "Bad Girls of Film Noir." I really want to see "Framed", but the only Region 1 DVD (well, DVD-R) is bundled into the "Glenn Ford Undercover Crimes" collection. Not sure if you have that set or have reviewed it.

Maybe I'll post about "Berlin Correspondent" when I get the DVD. Based on your review and the comments on IMDB, I'm not expecting much, but I'm usually OK with mediocre movies if the actor I'm primarily buying the movie for has a good amount of screen time. Especially if she reminds me of Jane Greer. :-)

Have a good evening!

5:23 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I have that same Bad Girls set, it was a great release! I was fortunate to see FRAMED in 35mm at Noir City Hollywood, and then I splurged on the Glenn Ford set at a TCM Fest a couple years ago since I wouldn't have to pay shipping!

Like you I am very open to so-so movies. BERLIN CORRESPONDENT wasn't great but it was really interesting seeing Dana Andrews (with mustache!) in a very early role, and the film is also interesting in the context of Hollywood and WWII. Please let me know if you write about it!

Happy weekend!

Best wishes,

7:40 PM  

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