Guest Author - Vannie Ryanes
Alfred Hitchcock has always shown sly humor even in his darkest moves. This 1941 black and white comedy shows what he can do with obvious comedy as well. Mr. and Mrs. Smith (David and Ann) are a well off couple who find that they are not legally married. When David (Robert Montgomery) is given this information, does he tell his wife? No way. Instead he chooses to toy with her first. Unfortunately, Ann (beautiful and talented Carol Lombard) and her mother have received the same information. Ann's mother makes her promise that as an unmarried woman she won't ---?!. 'Of course not' she promises.
Later, Ann and David talk on the telephone, she asks about his day, he does not mention their invalid marriage but he does tell her that they are going to what used to be their favorite restaurant. As David is talking, he writes "Mrs.", crosses it off and replaces it with "Mistress" then smiles. This unshared knowledge starts a wonderful, sexy cat and mouse game between Lombard and Montgomery. The getting ready for bed scene is just super.
Gene Raymond as Jeff Custer, David's friend and law partner is full of southern charm and is wonderfully sly as he double crosses David. Jack Carson as the hard drinking womanizing club friend Chuck, who helps to land Montgomery in more hot water than he is already in, is perfect for this role. One of my favorite scenes is the hilarious 'restaurant' scene where Montgomery and Carson are on dates with two of Carson's lady friends. Watch Montgomery's face as he desperately tries to make his nose bleed.
It's our loss that they don't make sophisticated screwball comedy like this any more. Recommended. Hitchcock's Mr. and Mrs. Smith is available from Amazon.com