This is a strange film. It's Cinemascope, yet it's an intimate story that would've been better on a normal sized screen ratio. All of the actors are just fine, but the film is so slow, slow, slow, slow. Everyone seems to be directed to slow it down to a crawl.
This makes this movie quite an oddity for the mid-1950's.
It was nice to see Ann Harding in a supporting role, but her hyper dramatic performance seems a bit out of place.
One of the brighter performances is Lee J. Cobb as the Judge who helps Peck's character a couple of times.
Like many of the other reviews, I DO like the show, but I want to echo some of the comments.
I have no problem with their personalities; Chip jokes around but he knows what he's doing. Joanna is a bit serious, but has design talent. Their clients are all hetro couples, unlike other HGTV programs. Their apparent strict rules about life styles makes the program stick out as not being typical of HGTV's mission.
On the design side, I find that taking down walls and creating a typically fashionable great room look is boring as hell. Does everyone in Waco want the same style? Why must all brick be painted? Why is there typically a lack of color and style flair? Perhaps they select clients with the same style aesthetic as the Gaines have. Who knows? Other HGTV shows like Property Brothers and House Hunters VARY the type of people looking for properties, as well as VARY the style of the clients. "Fixer Upper" does not.
Finally, I understand that none of the furnishings remain with the clients, unlike "Property Brothers", where the clients often use some of their old furniture.
I love this movie, but something seems so odd and dated
This is a beautifully written comedy/drama, very typical of the best of the late 1930's. But this movie illustrates how much it was a man's world and the wife is never to be involved in his business. When Van (Gable) is putting together this big magazine take-over, he completely shuts out his wife, which is why she does not understand why Whitey (Jean Harlow) is down in Havana instead of her. If he had only told her of his hush-hush plans, the whole misunderstanding wouldn't have happened!
All of the actors are perfectly cast and do a wonderful job. This is exactly the kind of quality adult performance Jean Harlow was heading towards. What a tragedy she was dead within a year. This is also one of Clark Gable's best roles. He was excellent in this kind of light comedy/drama role...shame he didn't do more.