28 September 2015 | blanche-2
two old flames re-meet, but they're married to others
"Married and in Love" is a B movie from 1940 starring Patric Knowles, Helen Vinson, Alan Marshal and Barbara Read. It is directed by John Farrow.
Dr. Leslie Yates (Marshal) is a successful professional with a book out on dieting; he runs into his ex-girlfriend, Doris (Vinson), a prominent magazine writer. It's obvious she wants to start something up again. He is still attracted to her, but he resists.
Leslie's wife is an unassuming woman, Helen (Barbara Read), who has been a wonderful partner and helpmate. The couple suffered through being broke, and a tragedy, and they got through it. She's excited that Doris has invited them to dinner. They have just recently moved to New York and she hasn't been out much. Leslie is upset that she accepted the invitation, but he goes anyway.
Doris won't leave Leslie alone, despite having a husband (Patric Knowles) herself. They don't seem happy, so it's possible - in fact, probable, that she's cheated with others in her writing studio. He doesn't even know where it is.
Leslie finally gives in and decides to tell Helen.
This is a predictable film, though short and well directed. I had a few problems. I'm an experienced old film watcher - I am betting a lot of people couldn't tell Knowles and Marshal apart. The casting was probably deliberate, to show that Doris never forgot Leslie, but I think it might have been confusing.
Second, maybe it's just me, but I didn't consider Doris this strikingly beautiful prize. Gail Patrick, whom I believe made films at RKO at that time, would have been perfect. Just my opinion.
And third, I felt that the story was foolish. If Leslie had a good marriage, and it seemed that he had, why couldn't he have said, "Look, I went out with this woman for one month x number of years ago. She wants to start something up - if we socialize with her, she'll think I'm encouraging her." But then, of course, one gets into - well, maybe he really did want to - more layers - which in an hour weren't as explored as they could have been.
Nevertheless, the acting is sincere and one does care about Helen, Leslie's wife. She's almost too good, too helpful, too sweet - as opposed to the selfish Doris -- but I liked her, a woman totally devoted to her husband. And it was obvious he loved her.
I liked the ending very much. A satisfying film, if not a classic.