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DOUBLE WEDDING (1937)

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The seventh of the 14 films co-starring William Powell and Myrna Loy casts them as opposites who distract until they fall in love. She’s a control freak who’s outraged to learn that her sister, who’s already engaged, is infatuated with bohemian artist Powell. Her efforts to break them up lead to a series of misunderstandings instigated by Powell, who’s fallen for her. Although the two excelled at sophisticated comedy, as in the Thin Man movies, this pairing was more slapstick in nature, complete with comic chases and pratfalls. All that would turn out to be a welcome change for Loy, whose latest movie, Parnell (1937), would tank at the box office while this movie was in production. This film was a big hit for both actors, but off-screen tragedy tarnished the experience. Powell’s fiancée, Jean Harlow, died during filming, and while MGM shut down the film for a few weeks so he could grieve, both stars were so stricken by her death that they couldn’t enjoy the film. None of that shows on screen, of course, and the film is usually ranked just below their best films like The Thin Man (1934) and Libeled Lady (1936). (d. Richard Thorpe, 87m, 35mm)

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