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In Name Only Reviews

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Super Reviewer

October 25, 2008
Considering the three main stars a curiously obscure drama from the legendary year of 1939. Superior soap opera contains some of the best work Cary Grant, Carole Lombard and Kay Francis ever put on film. Carole shows that she wasn't just a superb comedienne but a skilled dramatic actress. Cary is just right in blending the facile with the seriousness of the untenable situation he finds himself in. As good as both of them are, and they are great, even better is Kay Francis, a portrait in silky malevolence. This was inexpicably almost the end of her film career, she ended up in Poverty Row junk only a few years later and after watching this it's hard to understand how this didn't open up a whole new chapter for her as the wicked woman of cinema. Perhaps she was just too early for noir, she would have been perfect as a poison pit viper in many of those pictures.
July 16, 2014
The story is heavily outdated and frankly not interesting enough for a full movie; it makes a relatively short movie feel much longer. Just the whole matter of getting a divorce is such a commonplace problem nowadays it feels a little tedious to go on so long about it. I understand the times were of course different, but I couldn't fully get into it like many other movies which had the main theme being divorce that were made in the 30's. Grant is solid as usual in a lessor role, as is Lombard. Very unmemorable.
September 1, 2008
good stuff this weepie pulls out all the stps even casting perenial good girl kay francis as the badie.
jam233
February 27, 2010
75/100. When in the cast you have Cary Grant, Carole Lombard and Kay Francis, you know you are in for a treat, and indeed, In Name Only is just that. Surprisingly, Kay Francis outshines the top billed performers. She gives a very fine performance. Helen Vinson is memorable as one of Francis' catty friends. Good art direction, the costumes are quite well done. This is one of Peggy Ann Garner's earliest roles as Lombard's daughter. She is such a natural actress. Well written and a bit of a tearjerker, but it showcases Lombard's versatility in her ability to play dramatic roles as well as the comic roles she is best known for. John Cromwell's careful direction pulls it all together.
May 1, 2009
Grant films were truly fo an adult nature for the times. The stories behind the fims were often dealt with complex and some shocking issues. It's interesting how these films have kept their appeal even today.
keishahosler
June 11, 2007
I love this movie, it's one of my favorite cary grant movies, it's kind of dramatic, it's definitally worth seeing though.
KevinRobbins
December 11, 2012
I didn't know there were women like that.

Alec Walker is a wealthy New Yorker who is unhappily married. His wife is conniving, ungrateful, mean and cruel. Alec meets a widow in the country one inauspicious day and falls in love. He asks his wife for a divorce but she will stop at nothing to keep them married and prevent Alec from achieving his goal. Can Alec find a way out of his situation or will his ex-wife win and keep Alec miserable?

"I slept like a log."
"How do logs sleep?"

John Cromwell, director of Made for Each Other, The Prisoner of Zanda, The Human Bondage, Since you Went Away, and Dead Reckoning, delivers In Name Only. The storyline for this movie is very well written and even better acted. The character development is very good and the cast includes Cary Grant, Carole Lombard, Kay Francis, Charles Coburn, and Nella Walker.

"You didn't think you could make a fool out of me, did you?"
"I tried."

I am a huge Cary Grant fan and found this picture while flicking through the channels and decided to DVR it. This is one of his more depressing performances and maybe touched a little too close to home. Overall, this is a very well put together film with a downer ending but I do recommend seeing this picture if you're a fan of Grant.

"I just called you to not wish you a Merry Christmas."

Grade: A-
August 28, 2011
Always love discovering a film I haven't seen with some of my favorite movie stars! This is my first time watching this movie, and even though I haven't completed it - I'm giving it four stars simply because it stars Carole Lombard, Cary Grant and Kay Francis, being directed by John Cromwell...it just simply cannot go wrong!
jazza923
February 27, 2010
75/100. When in the cast you have Cary Grant, Carole Lombard and Kay Francis, you know you are in for a treat, and indeed, In Name Only is just that. Surprisingly, Kay Francis outshines the top billed performers. She gives a very fine performance. Helen Vinson is memorable as one of Francis' catty friends. Good art direction, the costumes are quite well done. This is one of Peggy Ann Garner's earliest roles as Lombard's daughter. She is such a natural actress. Well written and a bit of a tearjerker, but it showcases Lombard's versatility in her ability to play dramatic roles as well as the comic roles she is best known for. John Cromwell's careful direction pulls it all together.
The -Stick
October 12, 2009
What a terrific line-up of names: Cary Grant, Carole Lombard and Kay Francis - which is what prompted me to record and watch this film in the first place. You'd think with a cast like that - you'd be in for some sort of screwball comedy. Wrong. IN NAME ONLY is as far from a comedy as you can get. Cary Grant, Carole Lombard and Kay Francis play this drama as straight and serious as a heart attack and they are just terrific in it. It's also one hell of an entertaining story...shhhh, never you mind that it's supposed to be some sort of a chick-flick romantic melodrama. Yes, I admit it's quite soapish, but... Shhhh!!!

Alec Walker (Cary Grant) is a wealthy businessman whose marriage to his wife, Maida (Kay Francis) is on the out and out. Alec should be home with his wife and parents - who are hosting a party - but Alec would rather be out riding around his estate on his horse. That's how much he hates his wife. During the ride, Alec meets Julie Eden (Carole Lombard), a neighbor out trying her hand at fly-fishing. Julie doesn't catch anything except Alec's attention. We soon learn that Julie is a widow raising a 6 year old daughter, Ellen (Peggy Ann Garner) - and this, as they say, is the beginning of a beautiful relationship... or is it?

The only thing that can hang up the relationship between Alec and Julie is... Maida - and boy, does she! Kay Francis as the scheming wife is just delicious here too. As is Maida's best friend, Suzanne (Helen Vinson) who secretly has the hots for Alec.

This story pulls you in from the beginning and I love the way the different characters are introduced and how they interact with each other as the film progresses. The script is smart and well written...but it's never so serious that the film is without it's humorous moments - as in the scene when Grant and Lombard are trying to eat a Thanksgiving dinner onboard a train. The barbs in the dialogue is as good as it gets. This is the humorous side of Cary Grant we are well familiar with. But it's also fascinating to watch them play a straight drama as they do for most of the film.

I can see how some may find this dated - extramarital affairs not as big a stigma as it once was, or is it still? Maybe? I really don't want to say too much else - as the fun in watching this is in watching the drama unfold.

9 / 10
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