Sunday, September 26, 2021

Tonight's Movie: Lucky Partners (1940) - A Warner Archive DVD Review

Ginger Rogers and Ronald Colman play the title roles in LUCKY PARTNERS (1940), available on DVD from the Warner Archive.

LUCKY PARTNERS was first released by the Warner Archive a decade ago but remains easily available since Warner Archive DVDs are manufactured on demand (MOD).

Ginger Rogers has always been one of my favorite actresses, but there are still a number of her films I haven't seen. LUCKY PARTNERS is a title I can now cross off my list thanks to watching this Warner Archive release.

Ginger plays Jean Newton, who works in a book rental library with her aunt (Spring Byington, who would play Ginger's aunt again in 1944's I'LL BE SEEING YOU).

One morning David Grant (Colman) is walking down the street and wishes Jean good luck, and almost immediately someone improbably gifts her with a gorgeous gown.

Jean later finds David again and suggests that since he brought her such good luck, they should go in together buying a sweepstakes ticket.

Jean's fiance Freddie (Jack Carson) sells Jean's half of the ticket before it's known whether it's going to pay off; that nets Jean and David $6000, while the ticket itself is not a winner.

It's a very long story, but Jean and David end up going on a platonic "honeymoon" trip, with Freddie trailing along to make sure there's no funny business.

No one will be surprised to learn that Freddie is ultimately disappointed, as Jean and David fall in love...but is David who he says he is?!

LUCKY PARTNERS was a fairly enjoyable 99 minutes thanks to the cast, which also includes Harry Davenport as an exasperated judge who's charmed by Jean.

The screenplay by John van Druten and Allan Scott, based on a story by Sacha Guitry, is no great shakes, but there's enough there to hold the interest, as played by the fine actors. Their presence alone lifts a modestly entertaining film another half star or so, landing it at about a strong 2-1/2 stars in my opinion. The courtroom sequence, ranked on its own terms, gets a 3 from me.

There's not much substance to Colman's enigmatic David, a painter, but the twinkle in Colman's eyes counts for a lot. I would have liked to see more romantic spark with Rogers; their relationship is cute and pleasant, but not swoonworthy.

Rogers is adorable as the earnest Jean, especially in the lengthy final courtroom sequence, when she wraps both David and the judge around her little finger. For a working girl, Jean also has a lovely wardrobe, designed by Irene.

Carson is amusing in a "Ralph Bellamy" type role as the other man. In addition to Byington and Davenport, the supporting cast also includes Walter Kingsford, Hugh O'Connell, Leon Belasco, Edward Conrad, Billy Gilbert, Grady Sutton, Edgar Dearing, and Dorothy Adams.

LUCKY PARTNERS was directed by Lewis Milestone and filmed in black and white by Robert De Grasse. The score was composed by Dimitri Tiomkin.

The Warner Archive DVD has some mild imperfections, including a few scratches over the opening credits, but for the most part it's a solid print, with a strong, clear soundtrack. There are no extras on the disc.

Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this DVD. Warner Archive DVDs may be ordered from the Warner Archive Collection Amazon Store or from any online retailers where DVDs are sold.


Blogger barrylane said...

My attitude, Colman is okay, but anything with Ginger Rogers and Jack Carson is highly anticipated. By me.

8:03 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

That's pretty close to my own feelings, especially with regards to Ginger. Always extremely glad to see her.

Carson has grown on me more and more over time, particularly thanks to his roles in Doris Day's early films.

I enjoy Colman and love a couple of his films in which he was perfectly cast -- LOST HORIZON and RANDOM HARVEST -- yet at the same time I can't say he's someone whose work I've gone out of my way to see. Hopefully I'll catch up with more of his movies in the future.

Best wishes,

8:59 PM  
Blogger barrylane said...

I certainly agree about Random Harvest.

9:07 PM  

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