In Name Only Reviews

  • Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
    Dec 13, 2019

    Why RKO would shoehorn two of the brightest of the light comedy stars into a common soap opera melodrama is anyone's guess, but here it is, very nearly a parody - it's that bad. More interesting is the behind-the-scenes story of how Carole Lombard campaigned for her "box office poison" co-star, Kay Francis, to get to play the "bad girl" in this, and it's really the best part, or rather Francis makes it the best. She gives good bad. Lombard and Grant? Always quality, naturally.

    Why RKO would shoehorn two of the brightest of the light comedy stars into a common soap opera melodrama is anyone's guess, but here it is, very nearly a parody - it's that bad. More interesting is the behind-the-scenes story of how Carole Lombard campaigned for her "box office poison" co-star, Kay Francis, to get to play the "bad girl" in this, and it's really the best part, or rather Francis makes it the best. She gives good bad. Lombard and Grant? Always quality, naturally.

  • Apr 23, 2017

    Melodramatic soap opera.

    Melodramatic soap opera.

  • Aug 11, 2014

    My kind of film. I love old melodrama and this one delivers in a big way. Cary Grant and 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.

    My kind of film. I love old melodrama and this one delivers in a big way. Cary Grant and 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.

  • Jul 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    The story is heavily outdated and frankly not interesting enough for a full movie; it makes a relatively short movie feel much longer.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.

    The story is heavily outdated and frankly not interesting enough for a full movie; it makes a relatively short movie feel much longer.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.

  • Sep 12, 2013

    Kay Francis as the wife showed her sophistication, likeability and dark side. With Francis' help the writing came to life. Not to say that both Cary Grant and Carole Lombard didn't perform at the top of their game, they did. It's a classic romantic comedy and it's not to be missed. www.what-to-watch.com

    Kay Francis as the wife showed her sophistication, likeability and dark side. With Francis' help the writing came to life. Not to say that both Cary Grant and Carole Lombard didn't perform at the top of their game, they did. It's a classic romantic comedy and it's not to be missed. www.what-to-watch.com

  • Dec 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-

    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-

  • Jan 26, 2012

    Cary Grant is excellent (once again) in this romantic drama.

    Cary Grant is excellent (once again) in this romantic drama.

  • Nov 24, 2011

    Why is is that certain stars fade from our memory while others linger more firmly? This is what I ask myself after watching IN NAME ONLY (John Cromwell, RKO, 1939). I ask myself this because this film is maybe the second or third film I have seen with Carole Lombard as the female lead and it puzzles me why she isn't remembered quite the same way as other great stars of her time. She was just as big as any star from the era, made many memorable films with her playing amazing roles. But many more people remember Katherine or Audrey Hepburn. They know Monroe or Dietrich. It seems that Lombard is forgotten some and for me this is a shame. 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.

    Why is is that certain stars fade from our memory while others linger more firmly? This is what I ask myself after watching IN NAME ONLY (John Cromwell, RKO, 1939). I ask myself this because this film is maybe the second or third film I have seen with Carole Lombard as the female lead and it puzzles me why she isn't remembered quite the same way as other great stars of her time. She was just as big as any star from the era, made many memorable films with her playing amazing roles. But many more people remember Katherine or Audrey Hepburn. They know Monroe or Dietrich. It seems that Lombard is forgotten some and for me this is a shame. 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.

  • Oct 08, 2011

    I was so surprised by how good this was; now my second favorite Carole Lombard film and another enjoyable Cary Grant film!

    I was so surprised by how good this was; now my second favorite Carole Lombard film and another enjoyable Cary Grant film!

  • Aug 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!

    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!