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This Thing Called Love

Here is fun with a capital F. It is adult, it is amusing, it has sparkle, and it has vim. Basically, there is very little difference in story here from My Favorite Wife, Doctor Takes a Wife and other pix of that genre. The couple are married to begin with, and all their troubles consist of trying to fulfill or avoid their marital relationships.

With:
Rosalind Russell Melvyn Douglas Binnie Barnes Allyn Joslyn Gloria Dickson Lee J. Cobb

Here is fun with a capital F. It is adult, it is amusing, it has sparkle, and it has vim. Basically, there is very little difference in story here from My Favorite Wife, Doctor Takes a Wife and other pix of that genre. The couple are married to begin with, and all their troubles consist of trying to fulfill or avoid their marital relationships.

Rosalind Russell and Melvyn Douglas are the couple this time who, though legally wedded, don’t know what to do about sex. Or, rather, to be specific, only one of them (at a time) knows what to do, while the other is coy. Roz starts off by having a theory: they will test their love by a three-month abstainment period. Douglas can’t see that at all and decides to break her down.

Alexander Hall pilots the picture with considerable spirit and a furious pace; so much so that it seems a bit overlong, and some of the biz is repetitious.

Really topnotch bow (more so than in most recent films) belongs to the Werner Heymann scoring job. Music is used here as an intrinsic and basic film element. The way a certain tune keeps popping up every time Douglas repeats a certain piece of pantomimic business (looking at himself in a mirror reflectively) is positively inspired. It is as much a laugh-getter as any of the acting business or any of the dialog. And the triumphant military march motive played very much forte as Russell walks towards Douglas’ bedroom for the fadeout is a roar.

Both are about evenly divided on the acting honors, managing to point up their laughs beautifully, although a top scene in which Douglas does a rumba as a coverup for scratching (having contracted oak poisoning) is outstanding.

This Thing Called Love

Production: Columbia. Director Alexander Hall; Producer William Perlberg; Screenplay George Seaton, Ken Englund, P.J. Wolfson; Camera Joseph Walker; Editor Viola Lawrence; Music Werner Heymann

Crew: (B&W) Extract of a review from 1940. Running time: 98 MIN.

With: Rosalind Russell Melvyn Douglas Binnie Barnes Allyn Joslyn Gloria Dickson Lee J. Cobb

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