For Reel

Dangerous Number (1937)
March 10, 2015, 8:12 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Richard Thorpe
3 Stars
Dangerous NumberDangerous Number begins at the place where many movies end: the altar. When a silk magnate (Robert Young) returns from Japan and discovers that his ex-girlfriend (Ann Sothern) is getting married, he interrupts the proceedings and the two begin their own tumultuous marriage. As with many films of the era, the two bicker endlessly and even get rather mean-spirited–the only thing worse than them being together is them being apart. There’s an ugliness in their quarreling that is provided by Carey Wilson’s cynical screenplay, which understands that some relationships can bring out the worst in people (neither of the characters are particularly likable because they are frankly insufferable when they are together). Sothern is well-fit for the screwball tone, with several scenes calling on her to act hysterical in a way that would completely embarrass all but the finest performers. A plot involving a forgotten husband and the confusion surrounding Daylight Savings Time is rushed and completely ineffective, but at least the performances are enjoyable.

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