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Alfred Hitchcock directed Mr. and Mrs. Smith as a favor to Carole Lombard (he was renting her home after she married Clark Gable) in this sophisticated comedy. Ann (Lombard) and David Smith (Robert Montgomery) star as a wealthy Manhattan couple who engage in some prolonged marital squabbles because they have agreed to keep themselves locked up in their bedroom until the matters are resolved. Some battles have kept them holed up for over a week at a time. After making up from one of these fights, Ann asks David if given the chance to go back in time would he marry her again. He answers that he wouldn't even though he loves her very much. David thinks that married life is too complicated. Before you know it, a man enters David's law office to inform him that due to a technicality, he and Ann are not married. David wants to keep this news a secret from Ann for a while, but she finds out anyway. Ann thinks that David is planning to propose all over again, waiting for the perfect romantic moment, but he doesn't. This causes Ann to kick David out of their beautiful New York City apartment declaring that she's not sure she loves him anymore. When Ann starts dating, David begins in earnest to win her back. But not after he spends some hilarious days at his club where he meets an old business associate, played by Jack Carson, who encourages David to go out on a double date with him. Montgomery's scenes at the supper club are pure comic genius. In these scenes alone, he proves his status as one of the greatest comic performers in film. All hell breaks lose when Ann starts dating David's partner, played by Gene Raymond. When David finds out that his partner and old college buddy is squiring his wife, he redoubles his efforts at getting Ann back. This is probably one of the oddest films in the Hitchcock canon because it is completely lacking in what we have come to expect from his movies. There is no violence, no real suspense, no mystery, no crazy mothers ruining their sons' lives, and so on. But taken on its own merits, it is a completely enjoyable film, which reminds us what wonderful comic talents Lombard and Montgomery were and how the likes of which we are unlikely to see again. With witty dialogue, great pacing and acting, including terrific character bits by Carson and Lucile Watson as Lombard's mother. Produced in 1940 and released in 1941, this film has some footage of New York during the time of the 1939 World's Fair. In fact Lombard and Raymond go to the Fair after a dinner date. This really isn't minor Hitchcock, but it isn't what you've come to expect from the master of suspense. Perhaps he was trying to prove (early on too) that he was also the master of any film project he decided to take on. If you love the screwball comedies of the 1930s and early 1940s, give this one a look.

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WA6807 Mr. & Mrs. Smith DVD (1941/Alfred Hitchcock) $19.99 $17.99