The Heavenly Body (1944)

Passed   |    |  Comedy, Romance


The Heavenly Body (1944) Poster

The beautiful wife of a tweedy astronomer becomes convinced that her astrologer's prediction of a new dream man in her life will come true.


6.2/10
699

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23 June 2018 | SimonJack
7
| Astronomer turns his telescope on a heavenly body on earth
"The Heavenly Body" is a fine play on words as the title for this film. William Powell is astronomer William Whitley who has discovered a comet. While he is so occupied with his work, another heavenly body sits at home all alone. Hedy Lamarr plays his wife, Vicky. She's so bored because of lack of attention, that she gets rooked into and then hooked on astrology. The story takes place around one of the observatories in Arizona. The time is the early 1940s, while World War II is taking place.

The two leads and the rest of the cast are fine in this film, and the idea for the plot is quite good. Some reviewers found it too silly that an astronomer's spouse would be into astrology. Of course it's silly, but silliness often makes for very good comedy.

The problem with this film is that the script just isn't very funny. In William Powell comedies, one is used to some very clever and witty dialog, usually along with some funny antics. There's little of either in this movie. Still, Powell's efforts with this lackluster role in an almost ho-hum story, earns this seven stars with a little stretch.

Helping that stretch are a couple of things one seldom sees in movies with stories in the U.S. during World War II. The first is Civil Defense wardens. James Craig plays one here as Lloyd Hunter. So, here was an American community during WW II that had people serving as air raid wardens.

The second unique thing for movies of that period also is related to the war. Rationing was enforced across the U.S. during the war. Different things were controlled at different periods during the war. Apparently, during the time of this film, food rationing was widespread. William Whitley discovers that the astrology guru, Margaret Sibyll has been hiding something. She finally comes clean and reveals that she has been stockpiling canned food supplies obtained with extra ration cards.

It was strange though, that William Whitley was used to a breakfast every morning of bacon and eggs. Apparently those things weren't rationed, or he got the full amount for their family. So, those two little extras about the history of the time add something to this film and boost its interest level some.

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