“A thing like a divorce can break up a marriage!”
While rescuing a shipmate (Frank McHugh) who’s fallen overboard, a boring businessman named Larry Wilson (William Powell) gets knocked on the head and suddenly remembers his past as a con-man named George Carey. Upon meeting his beautiful wife (Myrna Loy), Powell is immediately smitten — but she’s determined to divorce him, and he must work hard to convince her he’s a changed man worth staying married to.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Mistaken or Hidden Identities
- Myrna Loy Films
- Romantic Comedy
- William Powell Films
- W.S. Van Dyke Films
After their success playing married socialite detectives Nick and Nora Charles in The Thin Man (1934) and two of its sequels (including Another Thin Man ), William Powell and Myrna Loy were reunited with director William S. Van Dyke for this frothy romantic comedy based on the hoary premise of amnesia-induced character “transformation”. Much of the beginning of the script is quite clever, and it’s fun (at first) to see how smoothly Powell manages to find out information about his own life, simply by assuming others will fill in gaps when prompted — but this narrative convention eventually becomes somewhat tiresome, and a pivotal subplot involving Powell and McHugh’s plans to swindle their community out of a bundle of funds feels overly complicated. Meanwhile, Loy takes far too long to come around to Powell’s newfound charms, and we don’t really buy her argument for why she married him in the first place. While Powell and Loy fans will be curious to check this one out, it’s not must-see viewing for all film fanatics.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- William Powell as Larry/George
No, though of course it’s worth a look for fans of Powell and Loy. Listed as a Personal Recommendation in the back of Peary’s book.