July 21, 2010

"Because of Him" (1946)

A lighthearted screwball comedy set in the world of the Broadway theater, with a top-notch musical score by Miklós Rózsa.

Deanna is a New York waitress dreaming of becoming a Broadway star. Her restaurant manager is played by Charles Halton who played the bank examiner in It's A Wonderful Life, my favorite movie.

Her favorite actor is famed British thespian John Sheridan (Charles Laughton), who is working on a new play, "Strange Laughter".

One day Laughton comes into her restaurant to eat, and Deanna cleverly schemes to get into the play. She also bumps into the playwright on the street (Franchot Tone), who is smitten by her at first sight.

Laughton is funny in this. I like the scene where he visits a bedridden Deanna and sees her shrine of photos of him on her dresser. He also teaches her how to faint properly. Also, it's funny when they both rehearse a scene and one of the characters in the play is named "Tony Randall" - the real actor was not famous yet.

Another funny scene comes during a rehearsal when Deanna breaks down and sobs uncontrollably. Everyone thinks she's trying impress with her acting abilities. But is she faking it? Ha ha. You have to see it!

The film's posters are a little misleading because it gives the impression it's a romance between Durbin and Tone. They really don't light any sparks until much later on in the picture, and even then it's on-again/off-again.

Highlights of the film include Deanna singing "Danny Boy" and "Goodbye", and seeing Laughton and Tone - two of the stars of 1935's Mutiny on the Bounty - reunited on screen.

For more about Because of Him (1946):

Laura has written a great review of Because of Him on her blog

1 comment:

  1. That's a great bit of trivia -- I very much enjoyed this film but hadn't connected in my mind that it reunited two of the BOUNTY stars! I saw BOUNTY in a revival theater as a teen and it made a *huge* impression on me so it's kind of funny I was so oblivious to that. Thanks. :)

    Loved "Danny Boy" and "Lover" in this. And Helen Broderick is always great!

    Best wishes,