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Hands Across the Table

Carole Lombard , Fred MacMurray , Mitchell Leisen    VHS Tape
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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4.0 out of 5 stars Delightful 30s Comedy March 27 2004
Format:VHS Tape
Although "Hands Across the Table" doesn't take the broad strokes other 1930s comedies may have taken it prove to be entertaining nonetheless.
This is one of those typical depression era films where the characters say they want to marry for money instead of love.
Carole Lombard does a wonderful job playing the role, though I'm not sure if she comes off as witty as she did in "My Man Godrey" or "To Be Or Not To Be" But her charm is clear throughout. I'm tempted to wonder how Joan Blondell would have taken on the role. Though I don't think Blondell made the impact Lombard did.
In the film Lombard plays Regi Allen a manicurist looking to fall in love with a millionair. So she goes on about her work daydreaming of the day her man will come.
That man is played by Fred MacMurray. He is one of those rich people who acts anything but rich. He has no snobbish attitude and wants to lead a carefree life.
But the film doesn't end there. Just to stir things up we have Ralph Bellamy as Allen Macklyn. A millionair who makes his feelings towards Regi known.
The movie was directed by Mitchell Leisen (To Each His Own, and The Big Broadcast of 1938,Bob Hope's first film) and it carries a very suggestive tone. A lot of things are hinted. Two characters live together out of wedlock. You may be thinking so what? But, this was 1935, such things were just not shown onscreen.
Bottom-line: Charming 1930s comedies. Lombard and MacMurray have lots of chemistry and offer plenty of laughs. Fans of old-fashioned comedies will enjoy it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not top shelf, but very, very close Dec 10 2001
Format:VHS Tape
With Mitchell Leisen directing, and Carole Lombard and Fred MacMurray starring, it would be impossible for this movie to be completely unsuccessful. The script, unlike later ones produced for Leisen by the likes of Preston Sturges, Billy Wilder, and Charles Brackett, is somewhat weaker than what he would work with later in the decade. But the principles are all so strong that they are able to transcend the weak script and achieve something much, much better than it ought to have been.
The strength of the film is without question Carole Lombard. My personal opinion has long been that she was simply the finest screen comedienne that Hollywood ever produced. Remove her from this film, and it would have been decidedly second rate.
The most fascinating scene in the movie occurs when Fred MacMurray and Carole Lombard are in her apartment when a gentleman who has a date with her knocks on the door. MacMurray, pretending to be her husband, answers the door. The part of the gentleman caller is played by none other than William Demarest, who would, of course, later costar with Fred MacMurray in MY THREE SONS, playing Uncle Charlie. To make the story complete, a year after HANDS ACROSS THE TABLE came out, MacMurray and Lombard would make a second film together, the less successful THE PRINCESS COMES ACROSS. One of MacMurray's costars is William Frawley, who was Demarest's predecessor on MY THREE SONS.
I found the Ralph Bellamy character to be highly problematic. A rich man confined to a wheelchair who is clearly in love with Lombard, he goes from trying to propose to her one minute to encouraging Fred MacMurray to propose to her (and being delighted at their engagement) the next.
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4.0 out of 5 stars DELIGHTFUL LOMBARD May 19 2000
Format:VHS Tape
A fortune-hunting manicurist and a playboy on his uppers make this a charming, stylish lighthearted comedy/romance. This little flick from 1935 offers sparkling performances all around - especially from effervescent Lombard, that beautiful screwball queen of the thirties. Carole has to decide whether to choose rich yet wheelchair- bound Bellamy or poor, handsome MacMurray. The dialogue is excellent in this cute love story which features strong characterizations and believable twists. The stars make a delightfully well-blended team in the Vina Delmar story, given a sparkling Norman Krasna-Vincent Lawrence-Herbert Fields screenplay in which the pair followed the manicure with a romantic fling and enjoyed it so much that they ditched their prospective spouses and stayed together forever. Ralph Bellamy and Astrid Allwyn ably portray the dull rejects. This highly praised and profitable film established Leisen as a comedy director of distinction; the influence of Lubitsch is cleary discenrnable. The movie also boosted Lombard to the top echelon of Paramount stars, and it pointed the way to MacMurray's long and successful career.
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