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  • At the beginning, Ms. Astor is delightful. Her performance seems pitched somewhere between the lovely one in "Dodsworth" and the brilliant one a few years later in "The Great Lie." She throws her head back and laughs. She speaks in that unusual mezzo. I started out with high hopes.

    Melvyn Douglas, too, was one of the best comic actors of the time. He does OK. And small roles are well cast, as with Porter Hall as the owner of the lodge where most of the movie takes place.

    But alas! It degenerates into a movie primarily about children we're supposed to find adorable. I love children, make no mistake. But this is icky. Edith Fellows, who was good in other movies, is unappealing as Astor's daughter. The boy isn't much better.

    It isn't the fault of the child actors, though. It's the script. It's forced, almost desperate.

    And so we find the prolific and versatile Ms. Astor in one of her lesser outings.
  • And So They Were Married (Elliot Nugent, 1936) is a fun romantic comedy set over the Christmas season, with divorcée Mary Astor falling for widower Melvyn Douglas at a snowbound hotel as their boisterous children (Edith Fellows and Jackie Moran) plot to keep them apart. Though the production values are a bit low - and there's little utilisation of the festive setting - the kids are great value and Douglas shows the deft comic touch and ability to subtly evoke emotion that saw him spread his screen success to stage and the small screen. There's a lovely moment where he shrugs off his broken heart by ruffling his son's hair and murmuring: "I just need a little time, son."

    The film is more realistic, and therefore less escapist, than Columbia's usual sparkly fare, as it effectively paraphrases the difficulties of single parenthood. There's a slight over-reliance on visual humour and the title is shamefully generic, but you can't fail to enjoy a film that features both Donald Meek as an exasperated hotel manager and Douglas Scott (young Hindley in Wyler's Wuthering Heights), scene-stealing as a breakaway mummy's boy. Once you've explored the more obvious genre gems from Columbia (It Happened One Night, A Night to Remember, Together Again), it's worth giving this one a go.
  • Recent divorcée Mary Astor (Edith Farham) and daughter Brenda, spend Christmas at a fashionable mountain hotel - ski lodge. At the same time, Melvin Douglas (Stephan Blake) a long time widower arrives awaiting his ten-year-old son, also to spend their Christmas holidays together. Brenda is a man hater, apparently because daddy left her and mommy. When Steve's son (Tommy) arrives both children take an immediate dislike of one another -- to the point of physically beating each other up! Both children can't stand the fact that Edith and Steve are becoming attracted to each other, and both are determined to derail any chance of Steve and Edith becoming a couple. In most romantic 1930's comedies kids are not as mischievous or in fact, as delinquent as this pair is, but it's done in funny ways that keeps the kids from becoming obnoxious. A good cast with fine supporting actors drives this film merrily along. Columbia Pictures was good at making comedies. This is worth a look, if you like that genre.
  • blanche-227 December 2012
    5/10
    awful
    Two terrific actors, Mary Astor and Melvyn Douglas, star in "And So They Were Married," a film from 1936 featuring Jackie Moran, Edith Fellows, and Donald Meek.

    Astor and Douglas play Edith Farnham and Stephen Blake, a divorcée and a widower, who get off on the wrong foot at a ski resort. Edith's daughter (Edith Fellows) is used to her mother being around all the time, and when she sees Edith warming up to Stephen, she becomes jealous. She and Blake's son (Jackie Moran) decide to break them up by pretending to hate one another.

    I love Mary Astor and Melvyn Douglas, but I did not enjoy this film. First of all, it had animal abuse played for laughs. Horrendous, and that alone earns it a low score. The children were obnoxious.

    This was a short film, maybe even a second feature, which seems ludicrous. I'm not a student of Mary Astor's films, but what she was doing in a B movie in 1936 when her star didn't start to fade until a few years later. It's possible she had to do it to fulfill a contractual obligation. Douglas, of course, had only been in films since 1932.

    Skip it.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This has to be one of the most contrived movies I have ever watched. It just seems way too "set-up" to be anything approaching real (even Hollywood's sense of what "real" is).

    If that isn't enough, despite being made in 1936, by which time there were more modern approaches to movie making, this film seems much older...perhaps from the 1930-1933 time period.

    In fact, there is only one good thing I have to say about this film -- there's quite a bit of real outdoor photography, and it's quite good, particularly during winter in the mountains. Unfortunately, the portion of the film inside the lodge (most of the movie) seems staged...in fact it has that feeling of a stilted stage play.

    The two leads are fine actors -- Melvyn Douglas and Mary Astor. But neither could save this dead fish, and in fact, their performances here are -- in my view -- perhaps the worst of their careers. During the first part of the film, the two take an instant and intense dislike of each other, but it's so excessive that I actually found it annoying. It was very difficult to not simply turn the film off, but I finally decided to continue watching for the most wrong reason there is to watch a movie -- to see just how lousy it really is. The two not only warm up to each other after a while, but fall in love. But it just seems so totally fake! He had a son, she a daughter, and here the female couple are all the more annoying since they have both become man-haters. Unfortunately, the children remained annoying far longer than the adults.

    I am giving this film one of the very lowest ratings I've posted on this site. Stay away! It's poison!
  • I must qualify my rating of this picture - I am a pure unadulterated Mary Astor fan, and I must ask myself, 'Would I have given this film the same rating if another actress were playing the part?' Honestly, no. I cannot say that the story isn't a bit trite. Here are two children, played by Edith Fellows and Jackie Moran, who, wishing to keep widowed and divorced parents to themselves, plot to thwart the blossoming romance between Mom (Mary Astor) and Dad (Melvyn Douglas). With predictable results. Douglas was a fine comedic actor, and his presence certainly helps lift the picture over some of the rough spots. The kids were pretty fair actors in their own right, and do not at all detract from what could have been a pretty dismal effort. In her biography, Ms. Astor confirmed that she rarely argued over the quality of a script. She went to work and did the best she could with the material given her. This is one she may have been better off choosing to be difficult about.
  • A divorced woman and a widowed man both with one child ends up at a ski resort at the same time. It will not be long before the man and woman become friends and quickly think of marriage. But the two kids are not getting along. In fact, it is the two kids that seem to want to stop the marriage and practically team-up to break the couple apart. But guess what, after they finally cause the break-up of their parent they seem to have a change of heart. Now the two team-up to see if they can get the two back together.

    The story just did not have any excitement. The story was straight forward and veered off the topic only a couple of times. And to be honest, it felt like the two main actors, Melvyn Douglas and Mary Astor, just were not interested with the script or with each other. It does not speak highly of the movie when the kids are the best actors in the film.

    Perhaps the movie would have been better if the two parents would have been someone that the public could relate. Instead they were actually snobby rich adults with maids and cooks that had all the comforts of money. The viewer could not feel any compassion for the two when their plan was to vacation in Europe for months until the meeting at the ski lodge. Was suppose to be a heartwarming love story but felt more like a bothersome tale.
  • Michael_Elliott28 February 2008
    And So They Were Married (1936)

    ** 1/2 (out of 4)

    A man hating divorcée (Mary Astor) goes to a snow lodge where she meets a woman hating widow (Melvyn Douglas) and the two quickly hit it off but their children decide to make sure they don't get married. This romantic comedy has a lot going for it but the screenplay starts to go off in all directions and it doesn't go after the most appealing aspects of the film. Astor and Douglas are both terrific in their roles as they manage to be quite charming, romantic and endearing. The two have wonderful chemistry together and they shine whenever they're together. The problem comes when the children (Judith Fellows, Jackie Moran) start to take over the picture. Their fighting and bickering works for a while but when it starts to take the story away from the adults it becomes rather annoying. There's one hilarious sequence where the kids feed a dog soap and when it takes off through the hotel it sets off a panic that the dog is rabid.
  • banker-424 December 2012
    I enjoyed this little bit of fluff movie for its story line and the stars portrayals of their characters. But I most enjoy seeing the location shooting of the snow walls along the Lincoln Highway (old Hwy 40) ascending to Donner Summit in 1935 and the views looking down upon the snow encrusted Donner Lake and the serpentine highway with an auto driving up with tire chains. Yes, tire chains used in snow in 1935. Enjoy the movie for what it is as light holiday entertainment but if you've ever skied on Donner Summit or traveled over the summit in the winter en route to Reno you can also enjoy it for the 1935 views of winter travel.
  • It's an inarguable fact that any number of actors and actresses could have played in It Happened One Night, and in And So They Were Married, Mary Astor and Melvyn Douglas prove they would have been every bit as good as the two who were eventually cast. It's hate at first sight for the couple, who meet over the holidays at a ski lodge. Due to an avalanche, they're the only guests in the hotel, much to the chagrin of the manager, Donald Meek, and they're forced to spend time together.

    Then, once they've fallen in love, their young children, Edith Fellows and Jackie Moran, meet. It's hate at first sight for them, too, and they pair up with the united goal of breaking up their parents. They try fighting, throwing things, pushing one another down the stairs, all to show their parents that if they were to marry, as the title suggests, living together would be intolerable. But, since this is a romantic comedy, I'm sure you can probably guess how everything turns out.

    If you like the cast and these types of meet-cutes, you might like this movie. It was a little too much hate and not enough love for me, so this one isn't my favorite. Jackie Moran was adorable, though, and in his first movie he already seemed like a veteran in front of the camera.

    My favorite scene shows how Mary and Edith are happy with their female-only lives, prior to Melvyn's intrusion. Mary gets ready to tell her daughter a bedtime story, and she starts, "It's about seven men, and every last one of them was eaten by an alligator." Edith grins and knows she'll like the story. Why spoil things with a romance? For my money, I like Young Ideas infinitely better, another Mary Astor romance that her children try to break up.
  • Melvyn Douglas was a marvelous actor who somehow never quite made it to the top ranks on acting....but he was terrific in just about everything he did...even crap like "And So They Were Married". He gives it his best and is quite nice in the film but the terribly flawed and clichéd story is beyond anyone's ability to fix!

    When the film begins, the audience soon realizes that Stephen (Douglas) and Edith (Mary Astor) will fall in love. Why? Because they hate each other and realistically they haven't a prayer of falling in love. But, as the movie is filled with clichés, they soon find themselves in love at the mountain resort they are both visiting with their respective children. Joel has brought his son to spend Christmas there, as he's a widower. And, Edith has brought her daughter and she recently got divorced. The romance is working just fine for a few days, as the resort is snowed in and the two kids are stuck in town. But once they arrive, the brats decide they don't like each other and if their parents marry, life will be awful...so even though they hate each other, they agree to work together to make their parents miserable. This is a sad excuse for a plot, as it's so selfish and nasty...and some of their behaviors (such destroying the Christmas tree and many of the presents of the other hotel guests) isn't funny...it's just cruel. This cruelness definitely was a bad decision in the film....and it's sad because although they are hateful, the two young actors playing the kids actually did a great job with what they were given. It could have been a bit like "The Parent Trap" but was sunk due to selfishness, too many clichés and a few characters who were more caricatures than real, believable people.
  • People who don't like kids, or kids in movies, probably won't like this film. But for all the rest of us, "And So They Were Married" is a good comedy romance. It has a couple of hilariously funny scenes.

    This movie is along the lines of "Parent Trap" of 1961, "The courtship of Eddie's Father" of 1963 and similar films about single-parent kids. "Parent Trap" was twin girls (both roles played by Hayley Mills) trying to get their divorced mom and dad back together. Others are about kids going through experiences of single parents meeting someone new and possibly tying the knot anew.

    But this film is an original story and may be the first of kids and single parents flicks. Two spoiled kids - not brats or nasty, just from wealthy single parents, try everything they can to keep their single parents from marrying. And everything they do backfires in an unusual way. It's a very clever device in the writing of this screenplay. And, the two adults start off disliking one another intensely.

    All of this occurs at the grand opening of a new snow-packed winter lodge in the Sierra Nevada's not far from Los Angeles. It concludes later back home, with a change in the kids' plans. But, for the first day, just the two parties get through the mountain road before a huge landslide closes it for the day.

    Melvin Doulas is the widowed dad, Stephen Blake, of 10-year-old Tommy Blake who's played by Jackie Moran. Mary Astor is the divorced mother, Edith Farnham, of Brenda, who is about the same age as Tommy. The Farnham's have their maid with them on the winter vacation, but Stephen's son arrives the second day.

    The two kids do quite a bit of conniving and are very good at it, and all the time disliking one another themselves. One can guess where this might end up, but all of this cast do very well in keeping the film interesting and fun. A few other characters contribute. Donald Meek is the Hotel Manager, Dorothy Stickney is Miss Peabody, the social hostess, Romaine Callendar is Mr. Snirley, the sporting host, and Douglas Scott plays Horace, a third child who gets involved in some of the mishaps.

    One absolute hilarious scene occurs after Brenda has let Tommy's dog, Harold, take several bites out of a bar of soap. The dog then scampers out of their room and down the hall, and as he barks and heads down the stairs in the main hotel foyer where dozens of people are carousing, Harold's mouth starts foaming up. One of the guests sees the dog and yells, "Look, a mad dog," and people frantically scramble everywhere.

    The screenplay is a little choppy and the quality of this early Columbia film seems a little crude. But, it's otherwise a funny film that most people should enjoy. Kids should enjoy it too, and parents will want to give them appropriate words or glances. Here are some favorite lines.

    Hotel manager, on the grand opening night when a snowslide has blocked the road, "25 waiters, four chefs, a 10-piece jazz band, and two guests...oooh."

    Mr. Ralph P. Snirley, "That's it - courage is the word. I always tell my students to think of the snow as a great feather bed."

    Edith Farnham, "Just to get away from that germicidal female, you understand?" Stephen Blake, "Perfectly! I'm the lesser of two evils." Edith, "You're practically psychic."

    Edith Farnham, "Don't tell me the stern Mr. Blake is flirting with me?" Stephen Blake, "Outrageously. Until the road clears, you might as well grin and bear it. Don't forget my proud beauty, it's the only flirting to be had in these parts." Edith, "Ha, ha, ha... Just until the road clears, huh?" Stephen, "Welllll."

    Edith Farnham, "I know a good story that I never told you before. It's about seven men, and every last one of 'em was eaten up by an alligator." Brenda Farnham, giggling, "I'm gonna like this one."

    Stephen Blake, "Did I ever tell you, you're the best dancer West of the Mississippi?" Edith, "No. Why didn't you?"

    Stephen Blake, "At last I'm emancipated from being an emancipated parent." Edith, "Are you drunk?"

    Stephen Blake, "Edith, do I have to do penance all the rest of my life just because I spanked a spoiled child?"

    Stephen Blake, "I don't like hysterical women." Edith, "Hysterical?" Stephen, "That's what I said - you're hysterical." Edith, "I suppose you'll be striking me next."

    Stephen Blake, "See this muscle. I got that beating helpless women and little children, but first I practiced on cripples."
  • Both Astor and Douglas had been in films for years by this time, so we know it'll be a good film. And with Donald Meek, there should be some good antics coming ahead. Too bad they didn't give him a larger part. Blake (Douglas) and Farnham (Astor), and Farnham's daughter are the only guests in a hotel locked in by snow. SO much talking.. this one MUST have started out as a play. According to IMDb, the snow scenes were done at Donner Pass. That is just west of Reno, about 7 hours north of Burbank, so that would have made for a fun winter outing for the actors. Mr. Snirley and Miss Peabody are hotel employees, determined to accompany the only two guests every second, much to their (and OUR !) annoyance. Then Blake's son shows up, and the rest of the film is about the plotting between the two children. Kind of a fun note to hear them talk about esperanto, which has actually been around since 1887. It's okay. No big surprises. Mildly entertaining. Pretty whitewashed and bland for the film code. Astor and Douglas would also make "There's always a Woman" together, as well as a couple television episodes. Directed by Elliott Nugent.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Jackie Moran and Edith Fellowes are two bratty adolescents who fight like a dog and a cat and utilize their antagonism to prevent their single parents (widowed father Melvyn Douglas and divorced mother Mary Astor) from getting married. But each scheme they concoct only serves to bring the adults closer together and of course create an understanding between the children who, like a dog and cat, really adore each other, just too stubborn to admit it. Some of the funniest situations involve a soap-consuming dog who makes the entire ski resort lobby think he's "mad" and Moran's use of bee-bee spitwads in a crowded dining room. This is so sitcomish that I am surprised that Columbia didn't do a sequel, "And So They Were Siblings".
  • Los Angeles divorcée Mary Astor (as Edith Farnham) and mature nine-year-old daughter Edith Fellows (as Brenda) arrive at the mountainous "Snowcrest Lodge" for Christmas week. Both shun male companionship, due to Ms. Astor's marital track record. Also arriving are widower Melvyn Douglas (as Stephen Blake) and, when school lets out, his ten-year-old son Jackie Moran (as Tommy). Due to weather conditions, Mr. Douglas and Ms. Astor are two of the lodge's few guests. It's definitely not love at first sight, but Douglas and Astor become mutually attracted. Their children react by fiendishly trying to prevent the inevitable marriage. It's not smooth sailing for the couple. Things go south when Douglas mistakes Astor's daughter for his son and gives him (her) a spanking. Astor is not amused. Then, the children try to bring their feuding parents together...

    ***** And So They Were Married (5/10/36) Elliott Nugent ~ Melvyn Douglas, Mary Astor, Edith Fellows, Jackie Moran
  • I guess the title kind of gives it all away. And So They Were Married involves Mary Astor and Edith Fellows and also Melvyn Douglas and Jackie Moran on a weekend getaway at a ski lodge. Part of the problem is that the mother&Daughter and father&son duos are the only couples at the grand opening of this new resort, a fact that is making owner Donald Meek tear the remaining hairs from his old head.

    But romance is in the air, but not if the kids can help it as Moran and Fellows take an instant dislike to each other and don't relish the prospect of a blended family. The rest of the film is about their machinations and how that helps and hinder the developing romance between Astor and Douglas.

    The kid players make this a nice family picture that holds up well for the holiday season. I'm surprised this one hasn't had a remake.