10 May 2007 | bkoganbing
My Daughter Ain't Going To Marry One
Although The Girl Who Had Everything is taken somewhat from MGM's earlier classic, A Free Soul, it has a few important differences in keeping with the decade it was done in.
William Powell is in the Lionel Barrymore part of the high priced criminal lawyer, but he's not representing his client in a murder trial. In keeping with the times Powell is at a Senate Rackets Committee hearing with Fernando Lamas who tells them nothing and a few Senators get some headlines and photo ops from the hearing.
As the hearing concludes daughter Elizabeth Taylor meets up with her dad and his client and they're both taken with each other. This does not sit well with Powell, who's perfectly willing to take their money, but not to let them in his life and family.
Fernando Lamas is in the gangster role, the same part that Clark Gable got his first real notice. Whereas Gable exuded some real menace and had no intention of leaving the rackets, Lamas actually wants to quit and settle down.
Of course the racism in The Girl Who Had Everything just bubbles over. Lamas apparently really does want to leave, but Powell is a snob and he's ready to violate lawyer/client privilege and testify himself before the Senate hearing as to Lamas's criminal enterprises. This would in fact get him disbarred in any state in the Union and the District of Columbia, a fact the film doesn't mention.
As for Lamas's associates, they take the attitude of once in, never out and deal with it accordingly. Wrongly in my opinion, but that's the fault of a very confused script.
This rehash of A Free Soul is only 69 minutes long, my guess the shortest feature film Elizabeth Taylor was ever in. She tries, but does not come close to what Norma Shearer did in the original version.
And Gig Young as her society boyfriend repeating the role that Leslie Howard had, has very little to do but look concerned and issue grave warnings about getting mixed up with those kind of people.
Dore Schary was unloading all of MGM's big stars from its golden era and The Girl Who Had Everything was the kiss off to William Powell. He looks plain bored with the whole thing and who could blame him. He had two more films in him as a free lance star, How to Marry a Millionaire and Mr. Roberts both infinitely better than this.