In Name Only Reviews
Carole Lombard are fantastic and have a chemistry to them. As with all these films, you know it will all big ok, but it's certainly worth going through all the trials and tribulations to get there.
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 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."
Because IN NAME ONLY she shines like no other. From the very first shot of the film as she clumsily fails at fishing we are captivated by her amazing grace, subtle beauty and an innate likability that resides within her and her performances. She is beautiful, though not overly so and she definitely resembles the theories archetype of femininity. She holds herself with style and grace, much like the later Audrey Hepburn and I feel there exists to an ease in which we relate to her, adding to her charm. And her performance in this film is really good, matching all they way with her two co-stars.
Cary Grant and Kay Francis co-star in the film and both give tremendous performances. Grant, always the gentlemen we all aspire to be, gives his normal top class. There is not a role he does that doesn't exude his persona (although his best roles are his comedic ones). And Kay Francis is spectacular as the jilted wife Maeda, struggling to remain in a marriage of status, all she desires in life. Her performance is cunning and ruthless, cold and aloof all at the same time.
The narrative to the film is quite good. It is romantic and endearing; at times funny and of course it hits the methodology of a romantic comedy quite well. I compare it favorably to LOVE AFFAIR (Leo McCarey, RKO, 1939) and can only surmise that the often interminable sadness which accompanies that film makes it so it is remembered more romantically when compared to IN NAME ONLY. One is just as good as the other, to me.
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