3 November 2019 | AlsExGal
Woman of the Year it is not...
... because little RKO just didn't have the star power and budget to put much energy, excitement, or depth to this story. And yes, Katharine Hepburn as the big star would have made this film much better, but RKO had already deemed her box office poison, mainly because of their own awful scripts, and sent her packing to MGM, where the next ten years would prove her to be otherwise. But I digress.
This is the tale of a Hollywood stuntman, (Kent Tayler as Steve Bennett) who first feuds with then falls in love with and marries a big star (Linda Hayes as Laura Marley). Then, AFTER the ceremony, AFTER she sees Steve do his first big stunt post nuptials, THEN Laura pouts until he gives up the profession he loves and becomes a bit actor - and a mediocre one at that - in Laura's films. His first reaction is - "Well, I couldn't keep doing this the rest of my life." That is true. But he needed to come to that realization on his own schedule. And surely Laura must have noticed that all of her dates with Steve involved adventurous sports?
Eventually, Steve is brought down by a combination of missing his old profession, feeling he is under the thumb of his influential wife, and an accident on the set for which he blames himself because he was not the experienced guy doing the stunt. I'll let you see yourself how this paint by numbers plot pans out.
This film has a few things that recommend it. First, RKO has found its own Asta in Skip as Laura's dog that actually brings the feuding couple together in the first place. Second, there is the bar - "The Graveyard" - where all of the Hollywood stuntmen gather for a drink that closes anytime a stunt man dies. How does such a bar stay in business with such a narrow clientele and such a gloomy name? Finally, there is a laugh out loud minute at the beginning of the film where Steve and Laura go to their "trailers" on the movie set, before they first meet. Inside each "trailer" the place looks like a dressing room complete with cheery drapes on sunny windows. But outside - they look like the big portable trash containers you rent if you are moving and need to throw away a pile of junk! It was just a great comical art direction moment in film.