Everything here is overdone. Olivia does a pratfall, but the staging is WAY over the top. She takes Ann Shirley out for dinner; the staging is farcical. However, this isn't supposed to be a farce, and we know that actors like Ms. De Havilland and Ms. Shirley are fully capable of silly comedy. This just can't quite cut it (and if you compare it to the similarly plotted The More the Merrier, well, there just IS no comparison)
Meanwhile, Smokey is dating Dana McGuire (Jess Barker),who has distinct political ambitions. And this is where the movie really begins to get spooky. Jess Barker plays Dana as close to being psychologically abusive. When he tells Smokey (having canceled their date) that she WILL see him the following day, his voice radiates a threat that is more frightening and sexy. If we are supposed to at least understand what Smokey seems in this man, Mr. Barker was certainly not the actor to do it. Apart from white-bread good looks, he is nothing if not unpleasant. We rather wanted to shower after he showed up.
One interesting thing about the film is the "special effects". We noticed a credit for special effects in the film. Well, scenes of Smokey and Ed riding a motorcycle around Washington are clearly filmed IN Washington, D.C., while scenes of Olivia De Havilland and Sonny Tufts on the motorcycle clearly were not. It is rather fun to see these shots of the District, circa 1943. And a quick tip of the hat to Ann Shirley and James Dunn as the best friends of Smokey. Good to see them; we wished they had better parts. Here is a clip of the movie - watch for Agnes Moorehead in a truly bit part:
Next week, another film new to us all.