For Reel

I Married an Angel (1942)
May 26, 2015, 11:20 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: W.S. Van Dyke
3.5 Stars
I Married An AngelThe last of the eight collaborations between Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy is often considered to be one of their weaker efforts, but I Married an Angel involves an especially good performance by MacDonald, memorable production and costume design, and an inventively accomplished dream structure. Romances involving unearthly creatures were fairly common in a decade that also saw comedies involving ghosts, witches, and mermaids, but this film doubles down on the fantasy aspect as it develops. As in a dream, on occasion the supporting players will repeat certain lines or spin in circles as if they are struck in a trance. Just as bizarre (albeit in a very different way) is a third act development that sees MacDonald doing her best Joan Crawford imitation. MGM was famed as being a studio that reveled in grandiose romances and involved spectacular production values–in others words, the studio most removed from reality. I Married an Angel follows in that trend but also pauses to make audiences aware of the fantasy. When Jeanette MacDonald and the scene-stealing Binnie Barnes dance the jitterbug, it’s a pointless tangent… but it’s the sort of development that goes unquestioned in dreams and musicals.

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