16 May 2011 | dougdoepke
Detective (March) goes on globe-hopping quest to return suspected murderess (Bennett) to authorities. He's aided by two bumblers (Sothern & Bellamy), at the same time he falls for his attractive quarry.
Not quite a sophisticated comedy, not quite a picaresque chase, not quite a murder mystery- - all add up to a not very good movie. Hard to believe this is from glossy MGM since the production values are nearly incompetent. In fact, I've seen better process shots from a Lash LaRue oater, and since these make up half the movie, you've got to wonder where quality control was.
I'm assuming acerbic wit Dorothy Parker and husband Alan Campbell were hired to furnish sophisticated banter for the two couples. If so, I must have missed it. What I did hear were subtle grammar gaffes from Sothern (e.g. 'whom for 'who') and clever malaprops (e.g. 'deduct' for 'deduce') from Bellamy, intended, I guess, to show their humorous pretensions, but hardly crowd-pleasers.
Also, it looks like Bellamy's buffoonish cop amounts to a typical example of 30's cops when Hollywood treated them as low-comedy relief. And whose idea was it to tack on the last 10-minutes of whodunit that sort of sticks out like a glued on appendage.
Where the movie does work is with the lovely Bennett and the comedically gifted Sothern. Still, it's a bit puzzling why the movie didn't turn out better given the talent involved, including ace producer Walter Wanger. Maybe it has to do with as many as four writers and who knows how many re-writes or with director Garnett's inability to forge a unifying style. But, whatever the reason, the film remains a somewhat unlikely disappointment.