For Reel

This Man Is Mine (1934)
February 1, 2015, 2:01 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: John Cromwell
2.5 Stars
This Man is MineBefore her talents as a comedienne came to light with a series of unforgettable screwball comedies in the late 1930s and early 1940s (including The Awful Truth and My Favorite Wife), Irene Dunne had been pigeon-holed into stately melodramas early in her career. This Man is Mine begins to mark a transition in her screen persona–although much of it plays like a fairly standard romantic drama, she does have a relatively empowered presence and is given the chance to match wits with her costars. She’s the noble wife, sticking by her man even when she is given no cause to. The man causing the distress is played by Ralph Bellamy in a rare leading role in which he is the object of affection rather than the dullard who comes between a pair of lovers. Unfortunately, he plays it no different than he would in those supporting parts–he’s passionless, humorless, and ultimately compromises Dunne’s capable performance because her pining for him rids her of credibility. Dunne has better chemistry with Kay Johnson, her honest friend who serves as a sounding board for Dunne’s distress.

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