Monday, February 15, 2010

Carole the Compulsive Liar

This week, we watched True Confession, with Ms. Lombard, Fred MacMurray, and John Barrymore. It is surely interesting to see her reunited with not one, but two of her prior co-stars, and, at least for MacMurray, in such different parts.  Lombard's Helen is nothing short of a compulsive liar. There isn't a problem she won't try to fix with a lie. Her husband, Ken, is the total reverse - a lawyer who despises liars, and won't take on a guilty client (which makes him a very underemployed lawyer indeed).  When Helen is accused of murder, Ken's insistence that she own up to her guilt ends in another lie, and in creating a celebrity couple.  And, when John Barrymore enters the picture, hijinks ensue. 

Watch Carole lie her way out of a creditor repossessing a typewriter:


Certainly this movie easily fits into the screwball mode, and while it is no Love Before Breakfast, it isn't My Man Godfrey either.  Our group had rather mixed reactions to Ms. Lombard - one person describing her performance as "shrill". But all were agreed that it was at times quite amusing.  Though, we did want to take Ken and launch him into outer space. He is rather a self-absorbed piece of work. Insisting his wife not work, because it will look like he can't support her. And of course, he can't. His ethics won't allow him to represent a guilty client. One can feel for Helen's predicament being married to such a prig. As for Barrymore, his Charley is just weird. Not as manic as the character he played in Twentieth Century, but certainly cut from the same eccentric cloth.

Next week, we visit Carol in the land of another star. Much smaller,and with curlier hair.  Tune in then.