Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941) / Comedy-Romance
MPAA Rated: Not rated, but probably G; safe for all audiences
Running Time: 95 min.
Cast: Robert Montgomery, Carole Lombard, Gene Raymond, Jack Carson, Philip Merivale, Lucile Watson
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Screenplay: Norman Krasna
Review published January 24, 2004
Of all of Hitchcock's (Foreign Correspondent, Rebecca) films, Mr. and Mrs. Smith is perhaps the least Hitchcock-like. It's a pleasant romantic comedy, and a good one, just so long as you aren't going to criticize it for a lack of the themes and motifs associated with the director. If anything, it further showcases his talent in being able to deliver quality in an entirely different genre, and although there is a great deal of humor in his movies, he had never directed a straight comedy before or since this one.
In Mr. and Mrs. Smith, David (Montgomery, They Were Expendable) and Annie Smith (Lombard, To Be or Not To Be) have an unconventional but loving marriage. One day Annie asks David if he'd still marry her if he had it all to do over again, to which David responds that he would probably have remained single. After it is discovered that their marriage isn't legal due to a technicality, the two discover they no longer are legally married, and now David wants to get remarried but blows it with Annie who finds another potential beau. David desperately wants Annie back, but can he steal her away from his best friend?
Hitchcock's only foray into a madcap comedy leads to a very pleasant and quite amusing (and much overlooked) film. Lombard and Young are outstanding as the married Smiths, and while lacking many of his trademark trick shots and camera angles, Hitchcock (Rear Window, The Birds) wisely takes a backseat to the witty script and amiable characters. A thoroughly enjoyable comedy that's better than most made today...too bad they don't make 'em like they used to.
©2004 Vince Leo