When Mike Hagen and Marilla Brown marry after a whirlwind romance on the west coast, they return to New York to find that they don't have much in common. She is a clothing designer who lives in a swanky apartment and whose friends are actors, artists and the like. He is a sports writer who likes to go boxing matches and horse races.
They clearly love one another and make every effort to be flexible. When a mobster, whom Mike has been accusing of fixing sports events, decides to go after him he must pretend to be out of town and mayhem ensues.
Gregory Peck ... Mike Hagen
Lauren Bacall ... Marilla Brown Hagen
Dolores Gray ... Lori Shannon
Sam Levene ... Ned Hammerstein
Tom Helmore ... Zachary Wilde
Mickey Shaughnessy ... Maxie Stultz
Jesse White ... Charlie Arneg
Chuck Connors ... Johnnie 'O'
Edward Platt ... Martin J. Daylor
Alvy Moore ... Luke Coslow
Carol Veazie ... Gwen
Jack Cole ... Randy Owens
DivX5 / MP3
I was pleasantly surprised by how good this was, the writing light and humorous (I didn't expect to be laughing out loud as often as I did). Peck reveals a comic timing that's amazing and Bacall's deadpan deliveries in both narration and on screen are a delight.
I can highly recommend this for a light, fun laugh. While dated at times (since it's based on fashion designs from half a century ago and you can see the influence of Audrey Hepburn in the models used), this would make a great date movie for a couple where both enjoy vintage films. You'll never be able to look at a plate of ravioli without smiling again.
Lauren Bacall, at the height of her beauty, comes out best. She was a fine comedy actress who had a sense of style and timing. In portraying Marilla, Ms. Bacall offers a side of her that hadn't been tapped before, having been seen in heavier roles. This movie seems to have been tailor made for her.
Who would have possibly realized in this bubbly and frothy romantic comedy, behind the scenes was a looming tragedy. While shooting this film with Gregory Peck by day, Lauren Bacall was nursing dying husband Humphrey Bogart. It was quite an ordeal for her.
As the sports writer, Gregory Peck, plays comedy, which was not his forte. At times, he appears wooden, but it probably was the direction from Mr. Minnelli, who wanted to show the big contrast between the lovers. Mr. Peck's Mike Hagan is completely different from his role in "Roman Holiday", but he carries it off and shows he was having a great time playing this sports reporter.
Dolores Gray, as Lori Shannon, has a few good moments playing the woman that is dumped by her steady boyfriend. There are a lot of familiar faces in the cast. Sam Levene, Tom Helmore, Mickey Shaugnessy, Jesse White, Chuck Connors, Edward Platt and Jack Cole, who plays the part of the Broadway choreographer that makes a statement of not being gay, when everyone can see otherwise!
* James Stewart and Grace Kelly were intended to be the co-stars of this movie, but when Kelly became betrothed to Prince Rainier of Monaco, Stewart decided not to do it (a decision he later said he regretted), and the leading roles went to Gregory Peck and Lauren Bacall.
* George Burns later told Gregory Peck that his reaction to getting the plate turned over in his lap was one of the best of its kind Burns had ever seen.
* Average Shot Length = ~12.8 seconds. Median Shot Length = ~13.4 seconds.
* MGM costume designer Helen Rose came up with the idea for this movie about a fashion designer.