Talkie of the Week: Lady Luck
USA 1946, 97 minutes, black & white, RKO Radio Pictures. Director: Edwin L. Marin, Written by Herbert Clyde Lewis, Frank Fenton and Lynn Root. Cast: Robert Young, Barbara Hale, Frank Morgan, James Gleason, Don Rice, Harry Davenport, Lloyd Corrigan, Teddy Hart, Joseph Vitale, Douglas Morrow, Robert Clarke
Plot summary: Mary comes from a long line of gamblers and distastes gambling accordingly. When she falls in love with Larry and marries him, she has a hard time accepting with his favorite pastime but learns to deal with it in her very own way.
Review: Lady Luck was one of Barbara Hale’s first A picture deals at RKO, a movie that put her in the spotlight next to studio heartthrob Robert Young. Blessed with congenial on-screen chemistry, the two leads did their best to turn this film into a decent hit, something that wasn’t particularly easy in the post-war world of entertainment.As Mary Audrey and Larry Scott, Ms. Hale and Bob Young created a romantic atmosphere with screwball wit by using their charm to make the plot convincing.
Written as a diverting romantic comedy, the film picked up on a serious topic that was dealt with in an amusing way and thus found the hearts of movie goers back in 1946. Presented on The Hedda Hopper Show – This Is Hollywood one year later, a thirty minute adaptation of the movie was broadcast with its original stars on radio, tying in with the film’s good success. However, although entertaining and hilarious at times, the movie was not shown in endless television reruns in later years and is still not available on DVD. It would be unfortunate if this film just faded in the minds of those who appreciated it for the excellent cast and funny writing. Frank Morgan’s performance as William Audrey, Mary’s grandfather, was such a wonderful addition to Barbara Hale’s delightful acting and her screen husband’s equally attractive talents, it is worth being passed on to future generations.
So if you come across the film on TV or find a copy elsewhere, do make the time to enjoy this bubbly film about the unlikely impact of gambling on a beautiful romance. Watch TV’s Marcus Welby M.D. and Perry Mason‘s Della Street fall in love on screen – they did it so beautifully. So beautifully, indeed, that Columbia Pictures teamed them up again for And Baby Makes Three in 1949, another lovely comedy for a rainy summer day, and a film I will introduce you to next week.