Monday, August 11, 2014

Together Again

publicity with Charles Boyer

Release date 12.22.1944

"Oh, I knew if you came here something would happen. But, frankly, I didn't think it would end up with me being your mother-in-law."
(Anne to George)

After the death of her husband Jonathan, Anne Crandall (Irene) took over his  position as major, more because of the family tradition than because of her own desire. Five years later her life revolves aound  her work and her neurotic step-daughter Diana (Mona Freeman), much to the concern of her father-in-law (Charles Coburn) who thinks that's about time for her to find a new partner and start a life of her own.

Major Crandall at work...

Hence, when a bolt of lightning beheads the statue of his late son, he takes this as a sign that Jonathan agrees with him. Nicely enough the search for a sculptor to create a new statue makes a trip to New York necessary. Maybe Anne will meet a fitting man there? 

-And buy a new hat.
- A new hat? What's the matter with the one I have on?
-It looks like a hat, that's what's the matter with it.
When women start wearing hats that look like hats, 
they are on their way out. At your age you 
ought to be on the way in.
- In what?
 - Buy a new hat and find out.

The definitely not like a hat looking new hat that 
later on has a lot to answer for....

Well, Anne meets artist George Corday (Charles Boyer) and though they have a lot of trouble getting started - including Anne ending up in jail after a night club raid - it's obvious that George is attracted to her. Despite the fact that she decided against him for the commission, he follows her to Brookhaven and manages to start working on the statue - as house guest of the Crandalls, of course.
The presence of this male leads to a lot of entanglements - including cross-over bethrothals - and it needs a lot more thunder and lightning to bring us to the Happy End...

George and his two fiancees... music's in the air! 

The title of this film has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with the plot but sums up what this is all about - Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer "Together Again." That steady correlation between on-and off-screen is one way how the classic Hollywood studio system worked, and after their colloboration in the acclaimed "Love Affair"and "When Tomorrow Comes" (both from 1939), the fans of both stars certainly waited for another co-work. It's a pity that they only got this ridiculous story to work with, but the chemistry of our protagonists makes up for the weaknesses of the script.

 Miss Dunne and Mr. Boyer having a good time...

Actually they carry the whole enterprise; in Irene's case elegantly dressed for this task in Jean Louis' creations. Recommended by Miss Dunne, "Together Again" marks the beginning of Jean Louis' career in Columbia's wardrobe department. 

How's that for a quiet evening at home outfit? 

Wouldn't you know that I find this film rather foolish with all its thunder and lightning? But nonetheless it's fairly charming and entertaining. After the heavy dramatics of "The White Cliffs Of Dover" it's nice for a change to see Irene in a comedy again. Beyond the reunion with Charls Boyer and the concomitant on-screen chemistry, the whole film is built around her. She proves once again her star quality by ennobling this mediocre script to a satisfying piece of entertainment. Her lively face, her multi-variant voice, and even the Dunne typical mannerisms  - the waggling shoulders, touching her teeth with her fingers, for instance - are used effectively. 

That's a typical Dunne gesture...

Technically there is nothing wrong about "Together Again." Charles Vidor's directing and the whole supporting cast are fine; especially Charles Coburn as Anne's father-in-law deserves an extra mentioning. 

This little hat has really a lot to answer for...

If there's something to really  complain about it's the fact that obviously some scenes of Irene and Charles Boyer ended on the cutting floor. An elaboration of the Happy End would have been pleasant too. 

both scenes are not in the film...

In a nutshell: this movie is not a classic comedy prime example but it presents Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer "Together Again" - and sometimes that's simply enough! 

The End