29 December 2005 | howardmorley
I loved every frame of this 1941 light romantic comedy when Hedy Lamarr is paired with Jimmy Stewart.It has been said so many times before but Hedy had such beauty both in body and spirit that it is almost worth seeing a film with her in it just to gape in awe at her.I am gradually building up my collection of Hedy's films which include Exctacy (1933), Algiers (1938), Her Highness and the Bellboy (1945) and Dishonored Lady (1947).We must not forget that she also had intelligence and invented in 1942, at the height of her Hollywood career, a frequency-switching system for torpedo guidance that was two decades ahead of its time which with a colleague, she patented.
In this film Hedy has overstayed her visitor's visa and the immigration officials are on to her.This is unfortunate for her in war time as she would have to return to her native Vienna.Of course as the good natured immigration official suggests, if she could find a husband within the week he decides to turn a blind eye, she could stay in America.Cue Jimmy Stuart failed writer who has the rejection slips and pawn tickets piling up in his flat.Can he meet this week's rent?Hedy has an idea.She requests he writes down his weekly expenditure and she will pay him regular amounts based on this budget in consideration of a civil marriage of convenience, thus avoiding deportation.Jimmy Stewart will regard as an accumulating loan until such time as his novel is sold to the publisher's and he will have enough money to pay off the debt.The coincidence is that his publisher (Ian Hunter) is simultaneously having an affair with Hedy.She only visits him at his flat to pay him his regular instalment, so despite being husband and wife, at least in the eyes of the law, they never really have got to know one another.
As time goes by Jimmy is starting to care for Hedy and he invites her to visit his grandmother in the country where passions deepen.Hedy is still unsure at this stage and uses a ruse to phone her married sugar daddy Ian Hunter giving him directions where she is.It is night and Hedy and Jimmy both must go to their respective bedrooms but Jimmy keeps making excuses to stay in her bedroom before reluctantly leaving.Their bedrooms have a partial wall over which light can be seen so they can converse with one another when both in their beds.The Grandmother has a hobby of embroidering sayings all around her home some of which humorously fit the action on the screen.When Ian Hunter arrives at the address to fetch his mistress, guess who Hedy selects? What I find fascinating about Hedy in her film roles (apart from her obvious physical beauty) is her genuine Viennese accent, her honesty, integrity, and intelligence and she is every inch the lady.
In 2013 I wrote a general amendment to this and other user comments which also applies to those actresses whose films I have already commented on IMDb.com in recent years.My love goddess/film actresses are Margaret Lockwood, Jennifer Jones, Vivien Leigh, Hedy Lamarr & Ava Gardner.Perhaps you will notice they were all dark brunette 1940s (& 50s) stars.It occurred to me that there should be one defining film which perfectly encapsulates for me their intrinsic personality, talent glamour & intellect.These are my choices after years of deliberation: Margaret Lockwood - "The Wicked Lady" (1945), Jennifer Jones - "Portrait Of Jennie" (1948), Vivien Leigh - "That Hamilton Woman" (1941, Hedy Lamarr - H.M.Pulman esq (1945, Ava Gardner "One Touch of Venus" (1948).