A comedy of steady tempo and deepening laughter. Irene Dunne takes the hurdle into comedy with versatile grace.
Theodora may superficially be compared to the Mr Deed s Goes to Town (1936) character in that both come from small New England villages. Quaint and eccentric figures and customs are exploited for laughs and background in both cases. And the experiences of the small-town character when hitting Manhattan form the main content of the story [from the novel by Mary McCarthy].
Painstaking direction of Richard Boleslawski brings out the nuances. His direction and Dunne’s playing of the first New York escapade of Theodora in a dashing blade’s apartment is a high point of light-and-shade farce. Melvyn Douglas is an excellent romantic partner for Dunne. She, rather than he, gets the real acting chances but he is consistently intelligent.
1936: Nominations: Best Actress (Irene Dunn), Editing