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  • It was an article of faith among the more cynical critics during the "golden age" of Hollywood movies that most of what the industry turned out could be summed up as "boy meets girl, boy gets girl, boy loses girl but gets her back before the final fade". Well, here Lewis Milestone has directed just such a formula tale. But he, more famous for such films as ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT, has handled the genre with such a light touch that the result is delightful. Mind you, I don't say the film is top 100 quality, but what's not to like about a Sacha Guitry romantic comedy featuring Ronald Colman and Ginger Rogers and ending with a courtroom scene, common to this type of film in the 1930's and 1940's, presided over by Henry Davenport as Judge?

    We start out with Colman as some sort of "mystery artist" accosted by Rogers with a hare-brained scheme to win the Irish sweepstakes, if only he will go halvers with her. He wished her "Good Luck" one morning, you see, and immediately she was given a lovely dress by a complete stranger. So naturally, she knew he was a sure token of good luck. She wants the money for her honeymoon, but Ronald has an idea of his own--he wants her to go with him on the honeymoon, strictly Platonic, of course. To make a long story a bit shorter, Ginger doesn't like the idea but Ronnie persuades her fiance, Jack Carson, that it's O.K. (Don't ask how!), so she finally agrees. They draw a horse on their ticket (if you don't know how the Irish Sweepstakes worked, there isn't room here to explain it all), but the horse doesn't win. However, Jack has sold one-half of the ticket for $6000 on the strength of the horse. He gives this to Ginger, who gives it to Ronnie, who arranges the trip and buys a car in Ginger's name. After considerable pussyfooting around it becomes clearer by the minute that Plato is going to lose this one. Ronnie gets cold feet and beats it in the car bought in Gingers's name. Naturally he is arrested for car theft, Ginger is arrested for possessing a stolen painting (I told you Ronnie as a "mystery artist"), Jack is arrested for breaking down Ginger's hotel room door (he got jealous after all), and they all end up in Henry Davenport's courtroom.

    Now, don't read another word if you don't already know the outcome, but if you are of the female persuasion and had the choice of Ronald Colman or Jack Carson, whom would you choose. This courtroom scene is not the best of this sort, which I mentioned was common to the period, but it does serve to sort things out. It may be corn, but it is lovely, sweet corn, and not from Iowa. Light sparkling comedy was Sacha Guitry's stock in trade.
  • A romantic comedy along the lines of 'It Happened One Night' (1934) but Ronald Colman is the incognito one. Ginger Rogers isn't in the know but agrees to take a Platonic road trip with him even though she's engaged to someone else. This is pretty risqué material for 1940 and there's a bit at the end which could be interpreted as a jab at the Hays Code (thanks to Equinox23 for that insight). Directed by Lewis Milestone ('All Quiet on the Western Front', 'Of Mice and Men') with a story that keeps one intrigued thanks to its unpredictability, it is a perfectly delightful piece of entertainment guaranteed to leave a warm fuzzy feeling. Several other reviewers here are rather harsh on this film, citing lack of plausibility, chemistry, etc. If you want plausibility see 'Judgment at Nuremberg' but if you enjoy romantic comedy don't let the nitpickers here dissuade you from seeing this charming film.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I'm going to argue that this movie isn't supposed to make sense as some people have written. It's the type of film, for me personally as a teenager at least, one would love to watch and imagine that you are Ronald Colman. I mean here you have the beautiful Ginger Rogers (who by the way reminds me of Esther Williams in this movie) and a complete stranger who manages to enchant her out of the blue. It's every man's dream to find that beautiful girl, and for me, I spent the whole movie wishing Colman luck in getting Rogers. So for those of you who say the plot is improbable, it is, but thats the point. I think the movie is supposed to reflect every man's wishful fantasy, not reality.

    The chemistry between Ginger and Colman was all right, not the best I agree, but still it wasn't awful. If you are going to be watching this movie, I suggest you watch it with an open mind, don't consider the improbability or anything else, just follow the plot and don't think too hard. Do that at least the first time, cause thats the way it was supposed to be viewed in my opinion.

    The only thing I didn't like was the ending of the movie. The court room scene seemed a little bit rushed and not the kind of ending one would like. The beginning was OK, it set up the movie. The middle was very good, witty, romantic and comical. And you would expect it to finish comically, but I agree with the previous posts that the producers seem to have run out of ideas. Nevertheless, it is worth watching for the middle part alone. Enjoy.
  • Lucky Partners, released in 1940, paired Ginger Rogers with Ronald Colman. The movie starts with Colman (Dave Grant) wishing a stranger "Good Luck!" as he passes her (Rogers playing Jean Newton) on the sidewalk, catching her off guard. After a brief exchange, they continue on their ways. Right away, the director is letting us know that this is a whimsical story, so criticisms about its implausibility should be few.

    It turns out that Jean, who is engaged to Freddy (played by Jack Carson), crosses paths with Dave again, sending the story of this romantic comedy on its way. I was pleased to find this film uses both broad humor and comedic subtlety, with elements of farce. Director Lewis Milestone uses a deft touch to keep us guessing at the next plot twist and to keep the chuckles coming. I'm afraid I was not cognizant of Milestone's accomplishments before seeing Lucky Partners. He won the Academy Award for All Quiet on the Western Front, and directed the excellent Front Page, and the quirky Hallelujah, I'm a Bum. Milestone was known for his innovative filming techniques and his quirky sense of humor.

    Ronald is his usual smooth self (does anyone else think Hugo Weaving was copying his voice in V for Vendetta?); Ginger, who I am partial to, plays her vivacious, funny-face persona. She would win the Academy Award for her role in Kitty Foyle, also released in 1940.

    There are some humorous supporting cast portrayals, particularly the hotel maid who is the victim of Ginger's curious behavior.

    Before it ends, the story morphs into a mystery that resolves in a courtroom setting.

    Watch how the director creates viewer interest by allowing action to occur off-screen; he is very good at that. When the two men go into the back alley to fight (off-screen), watch Ginger's face. And you can see the moment (crossing the bridge)when Ginger realizes how much she cares for Ronald, accomplished without words--evidence of Milestone's silent film experience.

    I really enjoyed this film.
  • Ronald Colman fascinates me. Perhaps more than any actor ever to grace the Hollywood sound stages (and silent-era stages), he is a truly unique actor. And, as the epitome of suaveness, with that once-in-a-lifetime voice, like Jack Nicholson and Spencer Tracey, I can enjoy a Colman film if for no other reason than to revel in his screen persona. Having said that, this is far from Colman's best film, but it is pleasant enough. Due to the era -- 1940 -- one might expect this to be a screwball comedy. Rather, it is a sophisticated comedy, so don't expect to laugh out's just not that kind of film. Ginger Rogers is also very pleasant here, and Jack Carson plays his role of jilted fiancé perfectly (he really was quite a versatile actor). Some people believe that the obvious difference in the age of Colman and Rogers makes this film improbable, yet I can imagine Hepburn and Tracy in the star roles, and that age difference wouldn't have bothered us. Spring Byington is pleasant, but in terms of the character actors who fill out the playbill, it is -- as is often the case - Harry Davenport (as the judge) that really shines here.

    As a Colman fan, I enjoyed this film. It's pleasant, humorous, and heartwarming. It's perfect for a night in front of the fireplace and television.
  • Equinox239 November 2007
    Warning: Spoilers
    I've come around to re-watching Lucky Partners and I have to confess that I've only watched it once before.What the movie most suffers from is that there is no chemistry between Ginger Rogers and Ronald Colman,one can hardly believe that he is in love with her!The supporting roles are very fine though,the two Nicks are rather splendid and Ethel and her mother,too, and even the aunt is great.What really won me a little bit for the movie is the final courtroom scene, because by condemning the adulterous behaviour finally the risqué possibilities of the plot can be discussed and enacted.Now Colman's charm that he had to suppress throughout is definitely there,oddly mostly in those scenes when he is alone in his stand and smiling at the accusations that are uttered against him. Though this whole courtroom business is rather a spoof especially because the whole affair is ridiculously overdone,still it is a clever device to get around the censorship of the Hays code and to maybe slightly rebel against the limitations it imposes by saying what was considered immoral yesterday might be considered art or culture tomorrow. Still it is really sad to see Colman only smiling seductively in court to himself and not to Rogers in the hotel, so what is is so much less than what could have been.

    I'd like to disagree with the previous reviewer in so far as there is a reason given-however stupid it might be-for blowing this case up.As can be seen in the scene preceding the courtroom scene,the reason why the case is handled in such a way is the attraction it brings about and the money it draws into the city.
  • LIND77777-18 April 2010
    Archetypal screwball comedy, but lacking vitality. One expects a lot of enjoyment from a movie starring Ginger Rogers, Ronald Colman, and Jack Carson, with a fine supporting cast, and a plot involving the Irish Sweepstakes. However, one doesn't get it. Partly it's the age difference-- Colman was 48, a stretch for the part he was playing, Rogers was 29 and in her prime. The movie's theme is "opposites attract" but it didn't work--instead, there was just a total lack of chemistry.

    There was a lot of charm in the courtroom scenes, with the endearing Harry Davenport as judge.

    However, overall the film was unbearably slow-paced. Too bad, It could have been a comedy delight.
  • Lucky Partners was the first of two films that Ronald Colman together with director Lewis Milestone signed on to make at RKO Pictures. For box office sake he was lucky to get Ginger Rogers who was their top moneymaking female star to be the leading lady. Though their styles don't quite mesh, it's a pleasant enough bit of viewing.

    Colman is a reclusive artist and Ginger is a bookseller in Greenwich Village of the Forties, then as now a home and haven for non-conformist spirits. Maybe in another neighborhood a story like this just couldn't happen.

    Just one fine day as Colman passes Rogers on the street he wishes her a casual 'good luck'. When she gets the gift of an expensive coat that someone is discarding, Ginger decides that Colman apparently has a lucky streak going. What to do, but bet on the Irish Sweepstakes and take him in as a partner. That does not sit too well with fiancée Jack Carson who is playing a typical Jack Carson blowhard type.

    The whole business arrangement in fact the whole business eventually winds up before Judge Harry Davenport who sorts out the legal and romantic complications for all concerned. Very much like Judge Granville Bates does in My Favorite Wife which also came from RKO the same year and is a much better film.

    With possibly a different director like Preston Sturges or Mitch Leisen, or Leo McCarey, someone who is known for comedy Lucky Partners might have been a better film. As it is it's pleasant enough viewing for the fans of the leading players, but that's about all you can say for it.
  • Ginger Rogers and Ronald Coleman are "Lucky Partners" in this 1940 film, also starring Jack Carson and Spring Byington.

    Rogers plays Jean, a young woman walking down the street when she passes Dave (Coleman), whom she doesn't know, and he wishes her "good luck." She delivers a box of books (her mother owns the book shop The Book Nook) to a client. The client is in the midst of getting a divorce and doesn't want a $200 dress chosen by her soon to be ex-husband. So her mother gives it to Jean.

    Jean thinks back to Dave's "good luck" and wonders if he just might have something there. She goes to Nick & Nick's, a local store, and decides to buy a sweepstakes ticket with Dave, who's right across the alley. They introduce themselves to one another and after a lot of back and forth, they go in on the ticket.

    Jean is engaged to an insurance man (Carson) and plans on moving to Poughkeepsie with him after they're married, with no honeymoon. The condition of Dave going in on the ticket with her is that, if they win, Dave will take her on a trip, platonically of course, before she settles down. This somewhat surprises her fiancée but he agrees to it.

    They win, and it's one of those European sweepstakes where if you draw a horse, you either sell the ticket for $12,000, or bet that the horse will win, in which case you will win something like $150,000 American money. They gamble on the race and lose. However, Jean's fiancé, unbeknownst to her, has sold her half of the ticket for $6000. She gives Dave 3000, and he still wants to take her on the trip. She goes.

    Ronald Coleman...Jack, what do you think happens? This is a slight movie enlivened by the two wonderful stars, Coleman, so dashing and charming, and Rogers, a somewhat naive young woman with a hidden sense of adventure. Rogers always did well playing opposite classy men, Fred Astaire being an excellent example.

    Some funny scenes, some sweet scenes. It's not earth-shattering, but I liked it.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    After spending all evening with a family friend,I decided to end the night by watching a film. Planning to view the French Neo-Noir Mea Culpa,I stumbled on a rare RKO title about to leave BBC iPlayer,which led to me trying my luck.

    The plot:

    Walking down a street, Jean Newton bumps into a man who randomly wishes her good luck. Taking the words to heart,Newton starts experiencing good luck. Tracking down her lucky charm,Newton finds out that his name is David Grant. Wanting to see how far this luck can go,Newton gets her fiancé to stand aside and let her and Grant put a bet on the Sweepstakes. Playing his own luck,Grant says he will agree to the idea,only if Newton goes on a holiday with him.

    View on the film:

    Turning His Girl Friday down for the role, Ginger Rogers gives a sparkling performance as Newton,with Rogers delivering the Screwball Comedy dialogue with a sweetness,and giving Newton a light romantic simmering. Bouncing off Jack Carson hilariously playing Newton's geeky boyfriend, Ronald Colman gives a terrific performance as Grant,who blocks Newton's attempts to find out more about him,by Colman giving Grant a slippery, gentlemen smoothness.

    Getting Grant and Newton in the same bed with stylish spilt-screen, co-writer(with George Haight/Edwin Justus Mayer/ Franz Schulz/Allan Scott and John Van Druten) director Lewis Milestone & cinematographer Robert De Grasse keep the Screwball Comedy atmosphere whip-smart, with pristine pans catching the reactions from Newton and Grants playful exchanges. Playing their luck in adapting Sacha Guitry & Fernand Rivers film Bonne chance!,the writers keep the first encounters of Newton and Grant deliciously lively,with their deals on good luck leading to funny exchanges with those who don't have their lucky hands. While the ending slyly mocks rules of the Hays Code, the decision to end the movie in a courtroom leads to the flick losing a spring in its step,due to the dialogue getting used to untangle the knots in the plot,as the luck runs out.
  • vert00116 June 2016
    Warning: Spoilers
    While something less than a barrel of laughs, LUCKY PARTNERS is charming enough for its first hour or so. With Ronald Colman and Ginger Rogers as its stars this is hardly a surprise. Though some disagree, it seems to me that the main conceit is completely plausible. Out of the blue a stranger (Colman) wishes a bookseller (Rogers) "Good luck" as he passes her on the street. As it happens, she immediately has a stroke of good fortune. Mild superstition being as realistic a trait as you're likely to find in any character, she decides to try her new luck with an Irish Sweepstakes ticket, going in on it with Colman for good measure. We see that he's an artist with some sort of personal secret who has been living in self-imposed isolation for some years. He seems about ready for some interpersonal contact again and Rogers is an undeniably pleasant subject for interpersonal contact. Thus his "experiment".

    These circumstances are then played out in the expected screwball fashion with a heavy accent on the romantic. The Rogers/Colman pairing isn't exactly lightning caught in a bottle but it's pleasant, the supporting characters (Spring Byington, Jack Carson, others) are more than competent. Playing Ginger's aunt, Byington even gets the best line in the movie. About the French novel she's been caught reading: "I know it's not exactly moral, but the French make everything seem so logical." So things are going along okay until, as someone said, they appear to run out of ideas and resort to a final courtroom scene. Not an uncommon way to end a movie in those days, this one is uniquely lifeless and uninspired. We mostly lose the thread of our stars' love story/hi jinks and replace these with...what? I'm not sure. I'm not even enamored of Henry Davenport's performance as the judge, too cute by half IMHO, which admittedly may make me unique. In any event, that ending might cause you to forget that what had preceded it hadn't been half bad: 6/10 stars.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Considering the film starred Ginger and Ronald, I really did expect to enjoy it a lot more than I did. That's because no matter how good the middle of the movie was (and it was SIGNIFICANTLY better), the main plot idea was so fatally flawed and dumb that the film was majorly handicapped at the onset. Then, to top it off, the film managed to have an even worse ending--making it a truly terrible film overall.

    As far as the plot goes, Ginger and Ronald don't know each other, but when they pass on the street, Ronald wishes her good luck. And, surprisingly, good luck seems to come her way immediately afterwords. So, using "movie logic", Ginger reasons that Ronald is so lucky that they should both buy a lottery ticket together. While this is far-fetched, this COULD have worked. However, then, when Ronald agrees BUT only on the stipulation that if they win, she should accompany him on a vacation, the script just makes no sense at all--especially since she is already engaged to Jack Carson. So, as you can see, from the onset the film is hindered by impossibly stupid and contrived events.

    Now as I said above, despite these problems, this COULD have still been a delightful film--especially since when they DO go on the trip together, the film is very romantic and likable. HOWEVER, the last 15 minutes or so are absolutely dreadful!!! It was obvious that the writers had no idea what to do with the story, so they contrived the arrest of Ronald Colman and a subsequent trial--even though there isn't any real evidence any crime has been committed. They could have just checked the registration to figure out the car was not stolen, but instead it becomes a HUGE trial and all normal court procedure, as we know it, is out the window!!! Ronald is his own lawyer and asks a lot of annoying questions. This is odd but COULD have happened in a real court case. However, when the judge later lets Ginger take over as the prosecutor and ask Ronald such questions as "do you love me?", the film hits an absolute low as far as common sense goes.

    Aside from films like PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE and TOMMY, this is one of the worst films I have seen in some time. Giving it a 3 was VERY charitable and only occurred because the middle of the film DID work well. Avoid this like the plague, as I doubt either Ginger or Ronald made anything worse--and this DOES include THE STORY OF MANKIND! YUCK!!!
  • Lejink12 July 2017
    A vintage Hollywood movie I must admit I'd never heard of before that I was pleased to catch on very early morning terrestrial TV, helmed by a celebrated director, Lewis Milestone and boasting two top stars in Ronald Colman and Ginger Rogers. Shame it was something of a let-down.

    It starts nicely enough with a fortuitous meeting between Colman and Rogers after the latter has started her mundane work day by receiving a gift of an expensive coat and benefits again from a lottery tip-off from Colman's David Grant character. I hoped it would continue the theme of fortuitous events happening throughout the film but unfortunately the film goes downhill from there with Colman's somewhat mysterious beachcomber character propositioning Rogers to accompany him on a trip to Niagara, coming between her and her boorish fiancé played by Jack Carson, in the process.

    So the mismatched couple, booked in as brother and sister, naturally end up in adjoining rooms in a posh hotel, before the fiancé turns up to make trouble for them which eventually sees them all end up on trial in a lengthy concluding courtroom scene for various minor misdemeanours, only for true love to conquer all, as Colman is revealed to be a reclusive famous artist in hiding after an apparently infamous trial about the morality of some of his earlier work.

    I know screwball comedies are meant to throw together unlikely individuals, be based on threadbare plots and large coincidence and be fast-paced and full of wisecracks but the most important of these, the last, just isn't delivered here. Poor Ginger, only recently on leave from years as old Fred's girl, has to canoodle with another much older man and good-looking and suave on the face of it as he is, you can't describe Colman's character as anything other than weird and one that a single woman most probably shouldn't let be her chaperone. That said her boyfriend Carson hardly seems like a catch either, being the brusque, money-grabbing, controlling type.

    There are some eccentrics dotted about in the background too like the two stereotypical Italian restaurateurs in whose eaterie they first meet, an odd selection of hotel employees, a strange elderly couple who Rogers christens Peter Possum and Jenny Wren who in truth can't be that much older than Colman even as they rhapsodise about the younger duo personifying love's young dream and finally a long-winded judge at the trial, but Preston Sturges this definitely isn't. All the explanations for Colman's odd-ball behaviour are held back until the last reel and then delivered in an unconvincing hurry at the same time as we're expected to believe in the even more unlikely romance of the two leads.

    What more to say, well, Rogers looks lovely, especially in her evening gown although unfortunately she stops short of actually dancing even a few steps, Colman is certainly smooth if lacking warmth and director Milestone has some nice touches like a scene showing both sides of the dividing doors as the couple argue and the courtroom scene where he shows successive witnesses sat in the same seat giving their testimony, but it has to be said, it's all rather dull, with no real laughs, curiously uninvolving characters and on the whole adds up to a lot less than the sum of its parts.
  • ksf-213 April 2020
    It's my dream cast...hollywood greats: Spring Byington, Ron Colman, a 30 year old Jack Carson, and i guess Ginger Rogers. LOVE the first three. Ginger Rogers played such a hard-to-get, mean, nasty wench opposite Fred Astaire, and really seemed to enjoy it... anyway. Here, David, Jean, and Freddie have the sweepstakes ticket, and win or lose, have to deal with the results. and it gets complicated. fun story. a love triangle caper! the running gag here is that everything takes place in the italian restaurant, while the owners, Nick and Nick just watch. Directed by Lew Milestone (real name Leib Milstein) started in the silents with Howard Hughes, and followed into the talkies. some funny stories, if you read his bio on imdb and on although he did have trouble with the House Un-American Activities Committee. he DID win two oscars as best director! Jack Carson died quite young (cancer). he never won an oscar, but he should have, at least for lifetime achievement in comedy. Carson was so great in Mildred Pierce and in Love Crazy. it's fun. HIGHLY recommend this one. filmed during the height of the film production code, so they could only say so much. Great stuff!
  • mklmjdrake16 March 2020
    Warning: Spoilers
    Based upon Good Luck! (1935) in which playwright Sacha Guitry also starred and directed. The premise is basically the same although it was re-written I'm sure to suit Ginger Rogers and Ronald Colman. She was cute as ever and he was charming as ever. Following the depression era and just at the onset of WWII this was another slightly wilder and louder Romcom of the 40s. It was a more romantic era that we are not accustomed to today. It would be considered dated and corny by modern standards. Carson played his usual jilted clown self (he moonlighted as a clown for a real circus) and thinks he has the girl (Rogers). He was no match for the advances of Colman. The love triangle had to be decided by trial with another wonderful performance by Harry Davenport as the judge. "Don't mention it". Jean (Rogers) of course had to appear offended at David's (Colman) wooing. In the midst of the trial they both revealed their true love for each other. Director Lewis Milestone demonstrated his diversity at comedy as well drama. It was a very sweet, lighthearted, predictable, fun piece of entertainment. It's a movie not a dissertation.
  • Passing her on a street in Greenwich Village prompts gentlemanly artist Ronald Colman (as David Grant) to wish beautiful black-haired Ginger Rogers (as Jean Newton) "good luck" for, as he says, "no particular reason." A few minutes later, Ms. Rogers is gifted with an pretty new dress. She thinks it's because Mr. Colman wished her luck, and proposes they buy a sweepstakes (lottery) ticket together. Despite an age difference, the "Lucky Partners" are attracted to each other, and Rogers agrees to take a honeymoon-style trip with Colman if their ticket wins. This doesn't sit well with Rogers' fiancé Jack Carson (as Freddie Harper). No kidding.

    **** Lucky Partners (8/2/40) Lewis Milestone ~ Ronald Colman, Ginger Rogers, Jack Carson, Spring Byington
  • Lucky Partners has Ronald Colman as a reclusive artist with a dodgy past who wishes Ginger Rogers good luck while she passes him on the street.

    Rogers gets an expensive dress that is being discarded to a house she visits. She thinks Colman is good luck and they cook up a scheme where they would go halves in some kind of Irish sweepstake's.

    Rogers wants the money to go on honeymoon with her beau Jack Carson. Colman wants to take Rogers on some kind of platonic honeymoon and he manages to persuade dunderhead Jack that this is a good idea.

    Of course on their road trip Colman and Rogers find out that they love each other and Colman decides to scarper but ends up getting arrested and it all ends in a courtroom showdown when it is revealed that Colman is a rather famous and notorious painter.

    Director Lewis Milestone won an Oscar for directing All Quiet on the Western Front, so maybe not someone who you might think would show a deft touch with a romantic comedy and truth to be told he makes heavy going of it.

    Colman looks too old to be sweeping Rogers off her feet and there is little chemistry between them. The courtroom scenes at the end was just farcical giving the movie a left turn.