Next up, we have the 1942 movie Once Upon A Honeymoon, starring Cary Grant and Ginger Rogers!
Coming Up Shorts! with… Popeye And The Pirates (1947)
(available on Blu-ray and DVD as part of Popeye The Sailor: The 1940s Volume 2 from Warner Archive Collection)
Disclaimer: On the disc case, it is noted that the set is intended for the adult collector, which is because these shorts were made at a time when a lot of racist and sexist stereotypes were prevalent. All I’m trying to say is, parents, be careful about just sticking these on for your kids.
(Length: 7 minutes, 35 seconds)
Popeye and Olive run into a band of pirates, led by Pierre, who takes a shine to Olive. A fun cartoon, with a similar competitive relationship between Popeye and Bluto (or in this case, Pierre). Some fun with some wonderful jokes, including a fish swimming by while reading a Popeye comic that gives him his spinach. Admittedly, at least one joke is cut short by a quick edit that, based on the opening disclaimer, was removed before the short was originally shown in theatres, possibly due to censorship. Still, a fun short, and worth a few good laughs!
And Now For The Main Feature…
It’s 1938 in Vienna, and Katie O’Hara (Ginger Rogers), masquerading as Katherine Butt-Smith, is getting ready to marry Baron Von Luber (Walter Slezak). However, the baron is suspected of working for the Nazis, and reporter Pat O’Toole (Cary Grant) comes snooping around, trying to talk to the future baroness. He gets in to see her under the guise of being her dress maker, and tries to find out what he can. He falls for her and attempts to warn her about the baron, but she doesn’t listen as she is more obsessed with the idea of being the baroness. He still follows the baron and his wife on their honeymoon trip, which seems to be marked by every country they visit falling to the Nazis. Once they are in Warsaw, however, Pat’s words get through after the baron sells some bad guns to the Polish general and Warsaw falls. While the baron has been arrested, Katie helps her Jewish maid and her children to escape, while going off with Pat. She forgets to get rid of her maid’s passport, which causes trouble when she and Pat are caught by the Germans and sent to a concentration camp as Jews. They have some good luck when the U.S. embassy helps get them out. They travel Europe, following the destruction left in the wake of her husband’s travels. In France, Katie is recruited by an American agent to go back and spy on her husband. But can she do it and get away with it?
Realistically, I would say this movie is a bit of a mixed bag. It covers a quite a few different genres, with comedy, drama, adventure, and romance all thrown in. That’s not a completely terrible thing, but it’s all a little too much. Especially with the scene in the concentration camp, which maybe takes things a little too far (admittedly, what we do see is a whole lot tamer than what the reality was, either due to the Code’s restrictions or lack of knowledge of what things were REALLY like).
Still, despite all those issues, there is a good movie to be found here. Cary Grant and Ginger Rogers do work well together, both able to show off some of their comic timing. The two of them would work together again about ten years later when they did Monkey Business, which was easily the better of the two movies they made together. It’s fun seeing Cary with the tape measure as he is trying to do the “fitting” for Ginger’s character, especially when he throws in the inside joke about “the way she looked tonight” (referring, of course, to the tune from the earlier Astaire/Rogers film Swing Time). And I certainly enjoy Cary’s radio broadcast at the end, which is hilarious as he tries to get the baron in hot water with all the other German officers. This movie may not be Monkey Business, but it’s still a lot of fun, and one I would definitely recommend!
This movie is available on DVD from Warner Archive Collection.
Film Length: 1 hour, 55 minutes
My Rating: 8/10
List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections
The Philadelphia Story (1940) – Cary Grant – Notorious (1946)
The Major And The Minor (1942) – Ginger Rogers – I’ll Be Seeing You (1944)
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