We have a young couple: Jerry(Robert Wagner) and Barbara(Barbara Bates), with baby, living with her parents Hugh(Macdonald Carey) and Mariam(Claudette Colbert), whose divorce will be finalized shortly. The daughter would like to continue living in her parent's house for some time, taking advantage of Miriam's expertise and energy in raising a child, and remaining in a familiar setting. Toward this goal, she tries to promote a reconciliation between her parents(Perhaps, Miriam, who will get the house, is more opposed to their remaining in her house). On the other hand, Jerry wants to move out as soon as possible into an apartment or house, to prove himself. Along comes millionaire Victor, an old flame of Mariam's, proposing marriage as soon as the divorce is finalized.
Now, we have a huge inconsistency which is never explained. Victor and Miriam, after a day of fun, are in Victor's apartment. arguing about the advisability of a marriage. Miriam is adamant that she will never remarry. She can do without a man in her life, at least as a husband. Dating as friends might be OK. Victor has always been a bachelor, and she doubts he would be happy tied down to one woman. Finally, she's still miffed at his sudden disappearance from her life 20 years ago for no apparent reason. Perhaps this would repeat itself....Next, we switch to Mariam's house where the young couple are waiting anxiously for Miriam's return. Mariam bursts into the house with the news that she's going to marry Victor. What happened to make her change her mind?
Another key inconsistency: When Victor keeps putting off their shotgun marriage because of a changing schedule of meetings in far off Washington D.C., Mariam eventually decides to call off the marriage. Any reasonable couple would have put off the short-notice wedding until after Victor's career-defining trip was over. Miriam got the idea that she would play second fiddle to Victor's career. She had had enough of this treatment with Hugh's addiction to gambling and babying his many prize rose bushes. When Hugh learns of the cancelled marriage, he renews his campaign to reconcile with Mariam. At first, she adamantly says no. But, after Hugh explains that he used loaded dice in his crap shoot with Victor to determine which would continue dating her, she suddenly softens and the implication of the fade out is that they will reconcile. Hugh further claims he will stop gambling to please her. Well, I don't know about that. It's a wonder she put up with his gambling for 20 years, except that he seems to do well, hence they aren't living on poverty row. As long as Mariam is mightily bothered by his gambling, I think they would be better off living as singles, dating one another occasionally. Of course, too many films of this era wanted to force a happy ending after an hour and a half of turmoil. In many cases, I wouldn't give the reconciliation much of a chance of sticking.
Claudette, at age 48, playing a woman 10 years younger, is still very much a knockout. Cary(Hugh), as well as Scott(Victor) were both tall and aristocratic-looking. Cary mostly played leading men and second leads in "B" pictures. Later, he starred in the long-running TV sitcom "Days of Our Lives". Scott somewhat reminded me of Clark Gable in looks, with his moustache. He was mostly a leading man or second lead. I most remember him as the lead in "The Southerner".
Barbara Bates was very shy as a girl. Despite winning a beauty contest and a Hollywood contract, she became increasingly insecure and despondent over time, made worse by the death of her husband and agent, whom she was very dependent upon, psychologically. Some years after a failed suicide attempt, she succeeded, at age 44. Interestingly, her character here seems insecure in dealing with her baby, heavily dependent on Mariam for advice and help, and not wanting to leave the house that had always been her home.
At this stage, Marilyn Monroe was still a bit player, serving as eye candy. Of course, like Barbara, she would exhibit increasing mental instability with age, eventually apparently succeeding in a suicide. Here, her character is inconsequential to the plot, briefly appearing 3 times. She wants Hugh to help her get the attention of Victor, as a would be gold digger. She's always seen with Hugh, even dancing with him, but with no hint of a romantic attachment.
Currently available in the Marilyn Premiere Collection, with 16 other films.