18 February 2000 | Ron Oliver
A Movie In Possession of Two Fine Comedy Stars
A penniless society girl living by her wits finds herself falling in love with the handsome sheriff's man sent to keep an eye on her belongings. What will happen if one of her suitors discovers that the fellow masquerading as her butler is both her lover and THE MAN IN POSSESSION?
This is a pleasant little drawing-room comedy which spotlights two stars of the past in serious peril of becoming forgotten. Robert Montgomery was both dashing & debonair. He handles the title role with much natural charm. Long-legged Charlotte Greenwood is a delight. Her delivery & timing are as fresh as today's coffee.
The rest of the cast is equally good: lovely Irene Purcell; sweet, elderly Beryl Mercer; plus Reginald Owen & Alan Mowbray as a couple of pompous twits. Sir C. Aubrey Smith is excellent as Montgomery's gruff, blustery father. As he normally played roles of great dignity, it is tremendous fun here to see his reaction when a platter of parsnips & gravy is smashed into his vest.
This is very defiantly a pre-Production Code comedy - Montgomery & Purcell go to bed together only hours after meeting. The sight of Purcell's torn chemise lying at the foot of her bed would never have been allowed a few years later.