Grounds for Marriage (1951)

Approved   |    |  Comedy, Musical


Grounds for Marriage (1951) Poster

Opera singer Ina Massine tries to win back former husband Dr. Lincoln I. Bartlett.


6.1/10
167

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12 May 2010 | Doylenf
6
| Some funny moments but not enough...a poor vehicle for Kathryn Grayson...
While KATHRYN GRAYSON doesn't get a chance to shine here (she's left voiceless for too much of the film), at least VAN JOHNSON and BARRY SULLIVAN prove so adept at comedy that it's a shame they never had more frequent chances to prove how good they were at mugging.

Sullivan, with his trim mustache and eyebrow-raised reactions, is clearly having a good time as an eccentric toymaker with designs on Grayson and PAULA RAYMOND--and anyone else who tickles his fancy.

Van Johnson has a fine time as a doctor who is part of an all-doctor orchestra and trying not to renew his relationship with ex-wife Grayson. Unfortunately, the script makes Grayson's character rather unbearable, relieved only by some operatic warbling that scarcely gives the audience time to appreciate her musical talent. Ironically, the studio could have chosen much more effective operatic arias for her to sing, given that she's supposed to be an operatic diva who has just finished a world tour. Instead, we get very brief segments from "La Boheme" and "Carmen" that are over much too soon.

Funniest bit has Van Johnson stifling a cold while making a speech about his theories on cold symptoms and later getting sympathetic treatment from Grayson while he wheezes and coughs his way into a spasm of epic proportions. He's hilariously effective.

Summing up: Too bad the script isn't bright enough to accommodate all of these expert performers. A very uneven comedy that gets a lift from Johnson and Sullivan.

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