Add a Review

  • Loved "That Uncertain Feeling" (1941)! Here, a superb, substantive, yet oft-times simultaneously silly, screenplay (adapted from the stage) meets first-rate actors. (The beautiful Merle Oberon is at her comedic best.) What makes this a must-see film is the palpable pathos swirling just beneath it all. In lesser hands (actors and writers all) this might've fallen into the snidely melodramatic or the mildly comedic.

    By the by, who says the feeling man is dead? The reviews give credence to the fact that-- whether in their teens, twenties, or, like me, in their fifties-- men enjoy romantic comedies as much as women. I suspect that any polls showing otherwise are eschew for the very reason that too many films today use a "straw man," where the male lead isn't much more than duplicitous, a nitwit, a heel (or all three). In "That Uncertain Feeling," a certain maturity and balance rules the writers. Sure, men AND women's flaws come to the fore, but as (or more)importantly, both sexes' attributes are on show, too, to boot. If the writer creates, equally, humorously offensive male and female characters, then it actually mirrors the real world while not playing partisan sexual politics. Do that and movie theatres will be swarming with women AND men, maybe like in days of old...like those when I, too, was young.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    THAT UNCERTAIN FEELING is based on a French play by Victorien Sardou. He was the leading French dramatist for most of the 19th Century, but his specialty of "the well made play" was lampooned into oblivion by later writers (most notably George Bernard Shaw, who labeled such carefully plotted works as "Sardoodledum"). Actually, like such good 20th Century dramatists as Terrance Rattigan, a really good drama can survive it's structural mechanics if the characterizations stand out to be true. Sardou's serious plays (like his historical plays) are too stiff to work today. But his lighter fare might still be able to work if up-dated.

    Lubitsch reset the story into modern New York. Melvin Douglas is married to Merle Oberon, and is a successful attorney. But their seemingly happy marriage has hit a dull spot. He is not aware of this but she is noticing his idiosyncrasies, and finding some too annoying for words: His habit of sticking his finger into her middle (playfully, of course) and saying "Keex" drives her up a wall. She tries a popular psychiatrist (Alan Mowbray, in a kind of reprise of a similar role from Lubitsch's DESIRE). Then she goes to an art gallery and meets eccentric pianist Burgess Meredith. He is a man who seems more full of sour, but honest, opinions about everything than he has musical talent. He goes from picture to picture telling Oberon what is wrong with each. "That painting won't live.", he declares of one work. Oberon, who can barely keep looking at it, says, "Thank God for that!".

    Meredith, with his sour view of most things, is soon ruining one of Douglas's business dinners (for a bunch of Hungarian businessmen, led by Sig Ruman). Douglas has a first rate Hungarian meal, complete with goulash for his guests, and even teaches - or tries to teach Oberon - to say a Hungarian toast for their guests. But Meredith dominates the evening, by insisting on playing a classical piece of piano music, and then 19 variations he has composed on it.

    Gradually Douglas tries to restore his marriage, but finds Oberon in a deep commitment to Meredith. This leads to one of the best scenes when Douglas and his partner Harry Davenport try to stage an act of cruelty against Oberon for divorce purposes. To do this they have to have Eve Arden as an unsuspecting witness to an escalating argument leading to a slap in the face. But each time Douglas can't bring himself to do it, until he basically downs two or three drinks. In the meantime Arden keeps noticing that Davenport (supposedly giving her dictation) is actually doing everything over and over again, including snapping his fingers at the moment that Douglas and Oberon are supposed to start their argument.

    The film ends with Oberon considering the good and bad points of Douglas and Meredith, to reach her conclusion about who to stay with. It is an obvious choice, perhaps, and it may seem to take her too long to decide, but the three leads give bright performances (supported by Davenport and Arden and the others). Not on the level of THE MERRY WIDOW or NINOTCHKA, but worth watching for some satisfactory chuckles.
  • whpratt128 January 2005
    Enjoyed this Classic Comedy with outstanding veteran actors who must have had fun making this film way back in the 1940's. Merle Oberon,(Mrs. Jill Baker),"A Song To Remember",'45, had problems with her hiccups whenever she got upset about things in her life and also the fact that her husband use to poke (keek) her in the stomach, which greatly annoyed her. Jill took these problems to her physician, Alan Mowbray,(Dr. Vengard)," I Wake Up Screaming",'41, who finally found out a solution for her problems. Jill Baker also runs into a crazy pianist and artist, Burgess Meredith (Alexander Sebastian),"Rocky V",'90, who seems to stop her problems with hiccups. However, Jill's husband, Melvyn Douglas (Larry Baker),"Hud",'63, begins to become curious about her relationship with this artist, pianist and all crazy and wild sorts of situations start happening through out the picture. This is definitely a Classic comedy film and if you love to see Merle Oberon act in an entirely different role, this is a good film to view and especially if you are a fan of Modern Art.
  • In "That Uncertain Feeling", good performances by the three lead actors give some life to a rather simplistic story. It is a mildly amusing movie, but there isn't enough to the plot or the script to make it any more than that.

    Melvyn Douglas and Merle Oberon play a married couple who seem to be reasonably content, but a chance meeting between the wife and an eccentric pianist (Burgess Meredith) suddenly threatens their whole marriage. Rather than choosing direct confrontation, the husband tries to use psychology to turn the situation in his favor, leading to some comic situations that only partially come off.

    The three leads are all pretty good, especially Meredith, who has the liveliest role. And Ernst Lubitsch directs with his usual dapper style. But there isn't really much of a story, and the behavior of the characters, while generally humorous, is too often completely implausible. So the movie is really never more than mildly entertaining.

    This will probably only be of particular interest to those who are fans of the director or one of the stars.
  • It has some clever dialogue, but the plot you can see coming at you from a mile away, as it is a take on "the grass is greener". Plus there is only one really likable main character - Melvyn Douglas as Larry Baker.

    After six years of marriage socialite Jill Baker is feeling quite bored. She is convinced by her equally bored Park Avenue socialite friends that she must simply go see Dr. Venguard, a psychoanalyst. Between Dr. Venguard, Jill's friends, and a complete narcissist she meets in Venguard's waiting room - Burgess Meredith as Sebastian, a pianist, she becomes convinced her marriage is on the rocks. This is all news to Larry who, although he does seem to eat and sleep the insurance business, is trying to build a better life for himself and his wife.

    Before Larry knows what has happened, he is out and Jill wants to divorce him and marry the extremely tiresome Sebastian, whom she is convinced is a genius. He tells her so every day! Eve Arden as a legal secretary steals the show when she is asked about what is going on and her opinion. She says she sees it every day. Women taken care of in high style with no worries and nothing to think about but how unhappy they think that they are.

    I wish I could make this review more inspiring, but the film itself is pleasant but uninspiring. No new ground is covered here, and the parts of it are greater than the whole. I can give kudos to Melvyn Douglas as the husband who thinks he is more clever at getting his wife back than he is, and to Burgess Meredith as somebody who thinks a great deal of himself as a musical genius but seems to have no visible means of support. Merle Oberon is lovely here and seems to have "that uncertain feeling" every step of the way. Events more than her own will seem to be propelling her forward in every instance.

    A few great memorable lines, what could be heavy melodrama turned into a very light romantic comedy Lubitsch style, and probably worth your time if you run across it, but nothing to deliberately seek out.
  • Merle Oberon and Melvyn Douglas deal with "That Uncertain Feeling," a 1941 Ernst Lubitsch film based on a Sardou play. It's actually a remake of a silent Lubitsch, "Kiss Me Again." The film also stars Burgess Meredith and Eve Arden.

    Jill Baker (Oberon) is married to a successful businessman, Larry Baker (Douglas), but after six years, the bloom is off the rose. She goes to a psychiatrist, where, in the waiting room, she meets an opinionated pianist, Alexander Sebastian (Meredith), who introduces her to the world of art and music. She becomes fascinated with the world of culture and with him. Before you know it, Oberon and Douglas are divorcing, and Oberon and Meredith become engaged.

    The best scene occurs in the divorce attorney's office, when the secretary, Sally (Eve Arden) is asked to take a letter. In reality, she's supposed to witness Larry slapping Jill to help them get their divorce.

    There are some nice things in this film, including the bright performances of the leads, particularly the beautiful Oberon, whose presence shone in many a film.

    All in all, a disappointing Lubitsch, but Oberon's charm is quite special and always worth seeing.
  • An enjoyable comedy, set among rich white people in New York in 1940, with wonderful clothes for the women.

    As a traditional comedy, it uses stock types. We have the businessman who has become boring (Melvyn Douglas), his wife (the exquisite Merle Oberon) who wants an affair, the young musician (Burgess Meredith) who sweeps her off her feet, and the young secretary (Eve Arden) who secretly adores the businessman.

    To be comic, characters exhibit extreme selfishness, pursuing their own desires by manipulating or ignoring other people. We get this in spades from the three principals, forever playing tricks on each other to get what they want next. One of endless examples: the lover scratches the husband's gramophone record after dinner so that he can play the piano instead, only to find that the husband has locked the lid of the piano.

    Physical knockabout is another strong element. Two of the best moments are when the wife, stuck for an answer, repeatedly throws a faint and when the husband, told by his lawyer to assault her in front of witnesses, repeatedly fails to slap her face.

    What were contemporary jokes are still fun. Psychoanalysis and modern art are targets for satire, also (an in-joke) that New York was being taken over by Hungarians.

    Not the overall funniest, most stylish or slickest film around, but a pleasant diversion. Worth watching to see Merle Oberon at her peak.
  • A mild romantic comedy that's atypical of Lubitsch. Merle Oberon looks gorgeous. Her clothes are sensational. Melvyn Douglas is not credible as her crass insurance-executive husband. This is the man who taught Garbo to laugh in the same director's "Ninotcha" and was generally suave and somewhat iconoclastic. As the movie proceeds, he settles into a trick-playing husband not quite consistent with the man who've first met.

    Burgess Meredith is sort of wasted as the annoying pianist Oberon meets in a psychiatrist's waiting room. (Alan Mowbry is hilariously dry as the analyst. And in some ways, this is a comment on psychoanalysis.) The Meredith character is the most interest. It is a very convincing study in absolute narcissism. He may be accomplished, indeed; but whether he is or not, he is his own greatest fan and protector.

    There are swipes at modern art as well as those at analysis. In some ways, it's a little retrograde.

    But it's beautifully shot and the design is fabulous. This is the New York City we'd all love to live in. And Oberon looks ravishing. Her performance is convincingly comic, too, though she is so match for Eve Arden in an all too small role.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I read that this film was a failure at the box office, and I'm not quite sure why. Perhaps it seemed like a throw-back to those mid-1930s films where Hollywood seemed to think that the American public was obsessed with the upper class. When I first began watching, I almost turned it off because that's what I thought was coming. But I stuck with it, and I found that this is a rather pleasant comedy about a somewhat boring man who is boring his wife in their everyday life, to the point where she has an affair and the husband and wife decide to divorce...well, almost.

    Melvyn Douglas doesn't have much to do for the first third of the film...but after all, he is supposed to be boring. No, that part of the film belongs to the lovely Merle Oberon. But, Douglas' part strengthens for the remainder of the film, and he does nicely, as does Oberon as a rather spoiled wife. Who is the third side of the triangle? Burgess Meredith as a rather insufferable pianist. It's interesting to watch Meredith here. He seems strong in the scenes where he is speaking, but a little awkward in the scenes where he is silent. And, I always enjoy watching character actor Harry Davenport, who never disappoints. Eve Arden is here, also, as a secretary, but her part is crucial, though rather small.

    This probably isn't going to end up on your DVD shelf, but if you like romantic comedies from the 30s...yes, I know this came out in 1941, but it seems older...then you'll probably like this enough to watch...once.
  • Just a quick observation: It is my impression that the reason TUF is such a neglected gem appears to be the unwillingness of audiences, both in 1941 and to this day, to accept Lubitsch's melding of his own European style with the then-popular American 'screwball comedy' genre. I don't think either the ordinary American audiences who liked their comedy broader, or the European audiences - along with intellectual sophisticates in the US - ever understood, and certainly never accepted, this hybrid.

    I think that's a shame, because I like the film, and find it both witty and hilarious, and abundantly blessed with the sort of intelligence and polish which makes Lubitsch films a sheer delight.
  • I love the films of Ernst Lubitsch. Most are classics and I can't think of a single director in Hollywood who was making better films during the 1930s. This being said, I certainly did not love THAT UNCERTAIN FEELING and his fans would hardly recognize this as a film of the great romantic-comedy director. Most of the problem lies in the script, as the characters are generally unlikable, their motivation seems confusing and almost non-existent and the film often tries too hard to be kooky. The usual "Lubitsch touch", which is very subtle, just isn't there.

    Merle Oberon plays a petulant and annoying lady. She's rich and has every reason to be happy. However, being too rich, too bored and too self-involved, she decides she needs to spice up her "dull marriage" by bringing another man into her life. This man is a pianist over-played by Burgess Meredith. He is a misanthropic pianist--a person so conceited and cynical that it's hard to imagine anyone putting up with him. Unlike Mischa Auer's charming loafer from MY MAN GODFREY, Meredith played a man who was thoroughly unlikable. Oberon seemed to find the demanding and nasty Meredith fun, though everyone else felt he was just a jerk--and he certainly was.

    Now at first you really feel sorry for Oberon's husband (played by Melvin Douglas). Later, however, you wonder if he's an idiot because he still wants Oberon back when their marriage naturally begins to fizzle. After all, she deliberately flaunted her new "friend" in front of her husband because she felt bored and petulant. I enjoyed seeing Douglas punch Meredith on two occasions but also felt that perhaps he owed Oberon's character a couple as well! Heck, had it been me, I'd have thrown her out (possibly through a window) and not looked back.

    So, what we have is a film is about infidelity and you can't like the characters--hardly a topic for a Lubitsch comedy. While it seems that Oberon never actually gets around to sleeping with Meredith, her lack of regard for her husband made me hate the film. Selfish Oberon and unimaginably rude Meredith--two characters that kill a comedy or romance.
  • Suffering from hiccups and insomnia, beautiful Manhattan socialite Merle Oberon (as Jill) feels neglected by successful insurance peddling husband Melvyn Douglas (as Larry Baker). While seeing psychoanalyst Alan Mowbray (as Vengard), Ms. Oberon meets fellow patient Burgess Meredith (as Alexander Sebastian), a troubled pianist. As Oberon and Mr. Meredith grow closer, Mr. Douglas tries "reverse psychology" to win back his wife. Meanwhile, secretary Eve Arden (as Sally Aikens) may move in on Douglas.

    This lesser Ernst Lubitsch offering was a re-make of the director's silent "Kiss Me Again" (1925), which made the critically polled "Film Daily" and "Motion Picture" magazine's annual year's best lists. Unfortunately, the original is presently a "lost" film. "That Uncertain Feeling" was a letdown after "Ninotchka" (1939) and "The Shop Around the Corner" (1940). But, it's definitely not awful. Douglas is in good form, particularly during the last act. Oberon wears some sexy outfits, especially during the early running.

    ****** That Uncertain Feeling (4/17/41) Ernst Lubitsch ~ Merle Oberon, Melvyn Douglas, Burgess Meredith, Eve Arden
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Neurotic society wife Merle Oberon visits psychiatrist Alan Mowbray where she meets Bohemian musician Burgess Meredith. With the state of her marriage to Melvyn Douglas on the rocks due to its predictability, Oberon takes up with the piano player while Douglas tries to win her back through subterfuge. What promises to be amusing is anything but. This is a dull "screwball" comedy that is definitely screwy but certainly not comical. Oberon is beautiful, Douglas is dashing, and Meredith is madcap, but there is no cohesion between them to engage interest or create any amusement. Even Eve Arden as a secretary is missing her usual fire thanks to a lack of humor in her dialog.

    Considering the Lubitsch touch of previous glamorous comedies, "That Uncertain Feeling" is a bomb. Even if this was meant to be a drama with comic moments, it just proves to be a boring 80 minutes of talk, talk, talk. The constant usage of "keeks" (the art of playfully poking somebody in the stomach while saying the word) is simply unfunny. The film is comparable of going to the philharmonic for a symphony and simply hearing the piano player play scales and chopsticks. Also, because this was an independent film, it's difficult to understand why the stars would choose to be in a film with such a script duller than a phone book, even if it was being directed by one of the masters of screen direction.
  • There's a lot of talent here: Merle Oberon, Melvyn Douglas, Burgess Meredith, Ernst Lubitsch. Where the talent was lacking was in the script. It just isn't very clever. Everyone tries their best - it was a potentially great role for Meredith - but they can only do so much with a dull script. So, while there are occasional funny moments here, the movie as a whole is pretty much a dud.

    More's the shame, since, as I said, there was so much talent here.
  • SnoopyStyle18 February 2018
    Happily married Jill Baker (Merle Oberon) is convinced by the girls to see popular therapist Dr. Vengard over her hiccups. He digs into her marriage and she starts to have doubts about her husband Larry (Melvyn Douglas). Later, she meets pianist Alexander Sebastian (Burgess Meredith) in Vengard's waiting room.

    None of the characters are that compelling. Jill and Larry are rather bland. Alexander is off as the depressed artist. It's old fashion but honestly, the opening is almost insulting. I find it hilarious that it purports to show the Ladies room as a place where no man has gone before and this was written by two men. This is a lesser rom-com without any edge or compelling work. The humor is lacking. I actually don't mind Jill and Larry reuniting because Jill and Alexander don't make a good match either. In an aside, I can't believe that Larry does his Heil Baker during this time in history. I guess it's a joke but it's so flippant that it's disrespectful. There is also hitting woman and other backwards aspects which makes this an awkward comedy.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Clever updating of Victorien Sardou's comic masterpiece 'Cyprienne' of 1880 and a reworking of the director's own silent-era adaptation of 1925, 'Kiss Me Again' (now lost). Lubitsch touches abound, despite generally churlish criticism of 'That Uncertain Feeling' since it's release in 1941. It seems that audiences have not appreciated the broader, farcical elements, reflecting the style and tone of the original play, that are an integral part of this neglected Lubitsch gem.

    Even the numerous detractors of this delightful film - who feel that it somehow misses the fabled 'touch' - do still feel obliged to enumerate the many happy contrivances which the great director elegantly accomplishes here. I won't spoil the film for those who have not yet enjoyed the treat, but any honest viewing will confirm that the stylish acting and delicious wit displayed in TUF do put to shame most contemporary comedy.

    There is an abundance of talent on show here to make us glad: Only a character as impossible as Alexander Sebastian, with his determination to be impressed by nothing and nobody but himself, could possibly dismiss this highly amusing film with the casually contemptuous 'Phooey!' that is so typical of that ridiculous fellow.

    Amidst the humour, this marital farce can really needle, as witness the husband's annoying treatment of his wife by habitually poking her in the ribs with an index finger and the accompanying would-be-droll vocalisation of 'Keeks!'

    The Freudian finger tends to provoke attacks of the hiccups in Mrs Baker, which psychosomatic complaint takes her to the psychiatrist, and a surprisingly therapeutic waiting-room confrontation with the aforementioned eccentric pianist Alexander Sebastian. A fling then ensues more beneficial to Mrs Baker than her one and only plodding analysis session.

    We are now launched into some deliciously Mozartian mischief, by means of which the Baker's marriage is saved.

    Some strange words are uttered during the course of events, like comic incantations.

    For instance, a marvellous conversational riot of Hungarian bonhomie is unleashed at the Baker's dinner-table, when the magic word 'Egészségedre!' - pronounced Egg-e-sheg-e-dra and meaning 'Cheers!' - is employed by the host's wife to ingratiate his prospective business partners, Hungarian mattress manufacturers and furniture salesmen whom the Bakers are entertaining along with their wives: The precise meaning of the unleashed flood of Hungarian words doesn't matter, and remains incomprehensible except insofar as it so obviously celebrates simple human good-fellowship. The scene magically conjures up just that ordinary domestic bliss missing from the Baker menage - now unhappily a trois.

    Then there is the 'Keeks!' which as a punning intertitle announces ' - - - has gone out of the marriage.'

    Mr Baker has deliberately and with enthusiasm acceded to a divorce, realising that the piano-player will not like to find himself conforming to the role of husband, nor the wife to suffer the spectacle of hubby's renewed bachelor affairs. To become the 'named individual' in resolving the love-triangle by initiating divorce proceedings Mr Baker must contrive to slap his estranged wife's face before a witness at the solicitor's office: He finds it so difficult to accomplish this faked outrage that Mrs Baker is immediately reconciled: The smart slap is transfigured into the committed loving gesture that expunges and heals the injury of the inconsiderate and unfeeling light drollery of 'Keeks!' - that Mrs Baker found so depressing that it was the cause of the separation: 'He had to get drunk to do it' she says, happily recognising his renewed committment.

    Additionally, the sly insinuation of the husband's reprehended dig-in-the-ribs - always more suitable for all-male locker-room joshing - into the amatory repertoire of the precious and annoying Alexander Sebastian absolutely clinches the marital deal for Mr Baker, as well as the resolution of the comic drama: As Mr Freud might say, in the person of the ineffective psychiatrist at the outset of the marital crisis, a transference has taken place, the latest and most significant, whereby an unconscious redirection of feelings has taken place from one person to another - that is to say, in this case, of Mrs Baker's feelings from the fellow whom she now perceives to be her intolerably selfish piano-playing fling and back towards her redeemed and grateful husband.

    Such witty and life-affirming prestidigitation with language and action is pretty brilliant wit, it seems to me, and as eminently worthy of admiration as the rest of Lubitch's delightful quicksilver touch.

    A true comedy, this, then, being a joyous celebration of the more hopeful side of life: 'Egészségedre!' indeed.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Clever updating of Victorien Sardou's comic masterpiece 'Cyprienne' of 1880 and a reworking of the director's own silent-era adaptation of 1925, 'Kiss Me Again' (now lost). Lubitsch touches abound, despite generally churlish criticism of 'That Uncertain Feeling' since it's release in 1941. It seems that audiences have not appreciated the broader, farcical elements, reflecting the style and tone of the original play, that are an integral part of this neglected Lubitsch gem.

    Even the numerous detractors of this delightful film - who feel that it somehow misses the fabled 'touch' - do still feel obliged to enumerate the many happy contrivances which the great director elegantly accomplishes here. I won't spoil the film for those who have not yet enjoyed the treat, but any honest viewing will confirm that the stylish acting and delicious wit displayed in TUF do put to shame most contemporary comedy.

    There is an abundance of talent on show here to make us glad: Only a character as impossible as Alexander Sebastian, with his determination to be impressed by nothing and nobody but himself, could possibly dismiss this highly amusing film with the casually contemptuous 'Phooey!' that is so typical of that ridiculous fellow.

    Amidst the humour, this marital farce can really needle, as witness the husband's annoying treatment of his wife by habitually poking her in the ribs with an index finger and the accompanying would-be-droll vocalisation of 'Keeks!'

    The Freudian finger tends to provoke attacks of the hiccups in Mrs Baker, which psychosomatic complaint takes her to the psychiatrist, and a surprisingly therapeutic waiting-room confrontation with the aforementioned eccentric pianist Alexander Sebastian. A fling then ensues more beneficial to Mrs Baker than her one and only plodding analysis session.

    We are now launched into some deliciously Mozartian mischief, by means of which the Baker's marriage is saved.

    Some strange words are uttered during the course of events, like comic incantations.

    For instance, a marvellous conversational riot of Hungarian bonhomie is unleashed at the Baker's dinner-table, when the magic word 'Egészségedre!' - pronounced Egg-e-sheg-e-dra and meaning 'Cheers!' - is employed by the host's wife to ingratiate his prospective business partners, Hungarian mattress manufacturers and furniture salesmen whom the Bakers are entertaining along with their wives: The precise meaning of the unleashed flood of Hungarian words doesn't matter, and remains incomprehensible except insofar as it so obviously celebrates simple human good-fellowship.The scene magically conjures up just the domestic bliss missing from the Baker menage - now unhappily a trois.

    Then there is the 'Keeks!' which as a punning intertitle announces ' - - - has gone out of the marriage.'

    Mr Baker has deliberately and with enthusiasm acceded to a divorce, realising that the piano-player will not like to find himself conforming to the role of husband, nor the wife to suffer the spectacle of hubby's renewed bachelor affairs. To become the 'named individual' in resolving the love-triangle by initiating divorce proceedings Mr Baker must contrive to slap his estranged wife's face before a witness at the solicitor's office: He finds it so difficult to accomplish this faked outrage that Mrs Baker is immediately reconciled: The smart slap is transfigured into the committed loving gesture that expunges and heals the injury of the inconsiderate and unfeeling light drollery of 'Keeks!' - that Mrs Baker found so depressing that it was the cause of the separation: 'He had to get drunk to do it' she says, happily recognising his renewed committment.

    Additionally, the sly insinuation of the husband's reprehended dig-in-the-ribs - always more suitable for all-male locker-room joshing - into the amatory repertoire of the precious and annoying Alexander Sebastian absolutely clinches the marital deal for Mr Baker, as well as the resolution of the comic drama: As Mr Freud might say, in the person of the ineffective psychiatrist at the outset of the marital crisis, a transference has taken place, the latest and most significant, whereby an unconscious redirection of feelings has taken place from one person to another - that is to say, in this case, of Mrs Baker's feelings from the fellow whom she now perceives to be her intolerably selfish piano-playing fling and back towards her redeemed and grateful husband.

    Such witty and life-affirming prestidigitation with language and action is pretty brilliant wit, it seems to me, and as eminently worthy of admiration as the rest of Lubitch's delightful quicksilver touch.

    A true comedy, this, then, being a joyous celebration of the more hopeful side of life: 'Egészségedre!' indeed.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    First, the good news. A really first-rate pressing of this hard-to- find-a-decent-copy movie is available in the extra-cheap "Hollywood Comedy Legends" set. And now the bad news: Despite the efforts of a first-rate cast, the film is somewhat disappointing and I'm really surprised that Lubitsch regarded the movie with such affection. True, he had a really first-rate roster of players, although all of them (no doubt on Lubitsch's instructions) tend to over-act, especially Burgess Meredith.

    It's also true that the movie's screenplay presents some good comedy ideas, but they are played to death. We keep waiting for that famed Lubitsch touch, but it never really happens. The film comes across more like a photographed stage play that has been spun out to Three Acts purely for the purpose of giving audiences a run for their money. True, the director takes care to keep things moving, even when the players are not doing or saying anything really amusing, but it's simply not enough to keep audience interest at a high level.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A really good film to doze off by. This is far better than taking sleeping tablets.

    When her friends persuade her to go to a psychoanalyst for her hiccups, Merle Oberon complies and finds analyst Alan Mowbray blaming her marriage to Melvyn Douglas as the culprit. It's also there that she meets off-the-wall patient Burgess Meredith. The two pursue an affair and she soon separates from Douglas.

    The film is just too much to believe. On the rebound,Douglas starts an affair with his attorney's ditsy secretary, a very young Eve Arden.

    The film is totally unappealing and unassuming to say the least. If this is comedy, forget it!!!!!
  • Luke warm comedy of manners. The storyline's done with style, but needed verve gives way to too much talk. The results are more sophistication than set-ups, more occasional chuckles than laughs.

    Larry (Douglas) is a married insurance executive. Trouble is he's neglecting wife Jill (Oberon) who's having hiccup bouts, probably because his main communication is poking her playfully in the stomach. So she takes up with squirrelly Sebastian (Meredith) who's an egotistical man of the arts. Now Larry's unhappy with the results, but what's he to do.

    Oberon and Douglas both low-key their parts. Add that to a talky script and we get some good lines and situations, but mild results overall. Looks like Meredith's sour artiste was intended to supply needed verve. However, his character is too obnoxious to generate much comedy. Too bad, as other reviewers point out, that Eve Arden's comedic potential goes untapped. Some caustic exchanges between her and Meredith would have livened things up. However, two comedic set-ups do stand out: the office scene where divorce plans keep misfiring, plus the climax where Larry pretends to have a girl in his bedroom to make Jill jealous. In fact, that last scene has the vivacious earmarks of a better total comedy than what we have otherwise.

    Anyway, it's New York sophistication done Lubitsch style, even if second rank.
  • writers_reign10 February 2017
    Warning: Spoilers
    Even the great Lubitsch can't hit one out of the park every At Bat; on the other hand even bush league Lubitsch is light years ahead of Major League Hitchcock let alone the likes of Mitchell Liesen, so this lightweight entry is still worth the price of admission. Eve Arden had yet to come into her own but she still registers strongly in a supporting role whilst the three leads, Melvyn Douglas, Merle Oberon and Burgess Meredith keep things bubbling along. The plot has been around the block more than once - in this case the source material is a play by Victorien Sardou, active in French Theatre around the same time as Georges Feydeau, who had a higher international profile - but Lubitssch is still able to extract a respectable mileage out of it.
  • The Plot.

    Against her better judgment, happily married Jill Baker is persuaded to see a popular psychoanalyst about her psychosomatic hiccups.

    Soon, she's disillusioned about husband Larry; and one day in the doctor's waiting room she meets pianist Alexander Sebastian, who's even more confused than she is.

    Can this marriage be saved?

    I suppose this is an example of a "modern-thinking" movie of the 40s. It's very dated.

    To be sure, there are some funny moments, but this is a movie where women lie about their age! Come on.
  • Cristi_Ciopron16 February 2016
    Warning: Spoilers
    An ineffable comedy with Merle Oberon, M. Douglas, Meredith, and Mowbray in a bit role, directed by Lubitsch: ageless fun, good-natured bourgeois humor, even risqué when possible (Merle explains about how she comes). The 19th century stage play has been updated, but it's still a comedy of the efficiency (as in the Hungarian party, that the pianist doesn't manage to hijack). Lubitsch sensed the possibilities of his players: of Merle, of Melvyn.

    I have certainly felt like the guest at the right party.

    M. Douglas seemed to enjoy his role, and looked more like B. Willis than like W. Powell …. (And after all, it's Melvyn in his workmanlike look.) Mowbray plays another creep: here, a psychoanalyst; he appeared, later, as the spooky colonel in a Holmes installment.