Time to jump in again with the recent release of the 1938 screwball comedy Merrily We Live, starring Constance Bennett, Brian Aherne, and Billie Burke.
Our story starts in the Kilbourne household, where their chauffeur has disappeared with the family silver. Emily Kilbourne (Billie Burke), the family matriarch, has had a history of hiring tramps, but after this betrayal, she decides to stop, to the happiness of the rest of the family. However, Wade Rawlins (Brian Aherne) comes to the door after the car he was driving goes off a cliff while he is trying to get some water. The butler tries to make him leave, but Emily sees him, and decides to hire him. His reception from the other members of the family is a little cool at first, but slowly, everyone warms up to him, with all the female members of the house (except for Emily) developing a crush on him, as he falls for eldest daughter Geraldine (Constance Bennett).
My thoughts on this movie? I highly recommend it! As a screwball comedy, it does its job, as I spent most of the movie laughing at everything going on (and while I may have had silent moments, I made up for them whenever I thought of the movie)! The family is definitely very screwy. Billie Burke, in her only Oscar nomination, delights as the absent-minded and completely nutty Emily Kilbourne. Bonita Granville creates a lot of mischief as youngest sister Marion Kilbourne, usually accompanied by her two Great Danes, affectionately named “Get Off The Rug” and “You Too.” Alan Mowbray is the butler Grosvenor, who is constantly threatening to leave, with his bag usually ready in a closet in the kitchen. Clarence Kolb as Henry Kilbourne is the “head of the house” (although who can tell, considering the respect his children have for him at times), and is given a wonderfully gleeful moment when he comes home at night drunk, and Brian Aherne’s Wade Rawlins has to help him into the house quietly. I can name many more moments, but too many more would spoil the fun. I think this movie is definitely worth a shot, if you get the chance!
The movie is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Classicflix, and is about an hour, thirty-five minutes in length.
My Rating: 10/10