Icons of Screwball Comedy

tumblr_mcdvkdskVu1r0a4hso1_500January 3, 1907            

Happy Birthday Ray Milland. What can we say? We love him. The quintessential Hollywood heartthrob, Ray could go from debonair to disastrous in the blink of an eye. His roles in our  favorite films Three Smart Girls, Easy Living, and The Major and The Minor were a stark contrast to that of his appearances in Dial M for Murder and The Long Weekend.  It was said he was devoted to his wife, with only 3 missteps during his 30+ year marriage, and one of them was due to Grace Kelly. Even his indiscretions were classy! 

One of my favorite Ray Milland films holds no real merit whatsoever, but  it’s very fun, just the same.  The Doctor Takes a Wife, is a classic romantic comedy, in which Ray plays a boring professor who can’t seem to get tenure, until he gets married. Girlfriend Gail Patrick is more than willing, but then Loretta Young shows up. Loretta plays a feminist writer who has made her living off a great book touting the splendor of being a single girl. One mistakenly placed sign that says “Just Married” on the back, and the press has a field day before our Hero even know what’s going on. All of a sudden he’s “married” , getting tenure, and trying to juggle the girlfriend, his overjoyed colleagues, and proud father. Awkward.  Lessons in love are a little hard to come by for our two main characters, and it isn’t until Ray actually sees Loretta playing housewife that he realizes she could actually be a woman, instead of just a liberal minded man-hater. Ray, of course, plays these kind of roles to a T, and I’m always a sucker for a beautiful man who puts aside judgments to see the girl for who she really is.  Thanks Ray, and Happy Birthday to you!

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