For Reel

Every Girl Should Be Married (1948)
December 25, 2014, 4:30 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Don Hartman
3 Stars
Every Girl Should Be MarriedThe title Every Girl Should Be Married evokes the most poorly aged of the comedies about gender from the Golden Age of Hollywood–namely, those about degradation of the fairer sex, where misogyny goes hand-in-hand with supposed wisecracking. But this production has a little more on its mind, and it’s in the earnest handling of gender that it finds the most interest. As with many Hollywood pictures, it plays it safe–even as there are some tremendous feminist soliloquies, it’s ultimately a film in which it is said that the primary way that a woman can assert power is through deception. Betsy Drake plays the woman who has ensnared Cary Grant. He’s not aware of it yet, but he’s going to marry her. Drake is quite charming as the lead, this being her breakout picture after Grant discovered her a couple of years previous (they would be married the following year). Grant was said to be quite controlling of Drake’s presentation on set in his desire to see her become successful and perhaps that explains his bored performance. Although some of it is narratively motivated–this being a man who is largely disinterested in a woman until he isn’t–he’s understated and going through the motions, not using his full range of skills as a comedian and instead letting Drake take the spotlight.

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