For Reel

Affectionately Yours (1941)
June 13, 2014, 12:19 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Lloyd Bacon
3.5 Stars
Affectionately YoursA miscast pair of leading actors holds back an otherwise charming comedy from director Lloyd Bacon, a solid if unremarkable hand for Warner Brothers for many years. Dennis Morgan is affable enough when he’s not going for silly–on the occasions that he does, one admires his commitment but is very aware of how deeply strained he is, looking self-conscious in his desire to produce laughs. Nonetheless, he fares better than Merle Oberon, whom Hollywood had the poor idea to cast in a screwball roles even after it had become clear that she succeeded most in melodramas. In the breakout year of her career, third-billed Rita Hayworth (on loan from Columbia) steals the show as the woman who is willing to play along with Morgan’s game to win back his wife. The role is little more than a plot device, but Hayworth’s dignified performance sets her apart from characters in similar remarriage comedies as a fiercely independent, intelligent woman who becomes more than just a pawn of a game played between sparring lovers. Ever-reliable Ralph Bellamy also shines as Oberon’s new man, however because it’s Bellamy audiences already know he hasn’t got a chance at the girl (although at least he’s a slightly more aggressive dope than usual).

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