This 1943 romantic comedy is a howler from the opening scenes where everything discribed in a broadcaster-ish voice over is the exact opposite of what is seen on-screen.
Mr. Dingle (Charles Coburn), an old politician arrives in Washington and needs a room in the World War Two housing shortage caused by extra people coming in to work in the surrounding defense factories. Taking his lead from an inscription seen on a monument to David Faragutt, "Damn the torpedos...full speed ahead!" he acquires half an apartment--leased by a Miss Milligan (Jean Arthur). He then rents half of his half to a young man named Joe Carter (Joel McCrea; this is the second film I've seen with him in it and I think I like the actor), who is on special assignment for the government.
Life is tricky...and amusing...and then things totally go whacky. I can't tell you much more than that without devulging plot points, but suffice to say when the FBI gets involved, an already interesting situation gets even stickier. Mr. Dingle's meddling and "full speed ahead" mentality really shakes things up and leaves the audience breathless with laughter as the situation deepens.
This is a romantic comedy, so you do have the rather fast development of the romance, but this one takes several days to develop rather than being an instantaneous thing. I liked that.
Mr. Carter was rather free with his hands in one particular scene--Miss Milligan could have put a more effective stop to it if she really wanted to...but anyway. One can't get away from some of this in Hollywood romances. It actually was used to comic effect as Connie kept removing Joe's hands when she could have just walloped him a good one on the jaw and he would have stopped. In this same scene, Miss Milligan's dress is cut somewhat low so exposes a trifle more skin than some might be happy with (more in the back than in the front).
Mr. Dingle happily goes along planning things to his own busy-body pleasure. He is the source of much laughter as he quite good-naturedly bumbles along with his own motives guiding his actions. One can't help but like the old rascal who guides the story even when off-screen.
I quite enjoyed this ridiculous movie...but be warned there is kissing (though not as much as many romances have) and a situation that could have been inappropriate if certain characters had not been honorable.
A Reformed Presbyterian girl who enjoys a good movie or a good book any ol' time.
Note: All images picked up online. No copyright infringment intended.