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Lombard Taught MacMurray Comedy during this Movie


I read a funny anecdote told by Mitchell Leisen, the director. MacMurray started the picture out rather stiff and wooden. Leisen came into the studio one day to find MacMurray flat on his back with Lombard sitting on his chest, pounding on him, and shouting "You will be funny!" Her attitude helped a great deal to loosen Fred up.

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Judging by the finished product he could have used a lot more lessons!! I like Fred MacMurray a lot and he was quite the handsome guy in his youth but here his performance is all over the place, at times reading his lines too boorish and coming off like a jerk and at other times a little too sassy and perilously close to fey. Fred always seemed to have a hard time in romantic comedies when his character was a bit of a scroundel, he was famously conservative and I think he just couldn't get in the skin of these "players" and as a result played it too harshly, campy, and/or (yes) wooden.

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