I Married a Witch (1942)

  • Ben Mankiewicz told us on TCM before playing the movie that Fredric March and Veronica Lake hated each other and didn’t get along while making this film, because March thought Lake was a new, talentless It Girl who’d gotten lucky in her recent success, and Lake thought March had a superiority complex. Well, knowing that, that’s all I could think of throughout this movie. I kind of wish that I hadn’t known it – but at the same time, I think I would have noticed bits and pieces of the same sentiment on my own. Veronica Lake was not very good in this, so I certainly can see where Fredric March was coming from. Overall, I think they were a mismatched pair onscreen.
  • The movie itself was kind of goofy, and I can’t say that I enjoyed it much – though there were several funny parts (for instance – the lady performer at the wedding & her repetitive cover-up singing). I thought the Witch Father (Cecil Kellaway)’s character was pretty fucking annoying, in just about every way. I kept wishing he’d just go away and never return – yes, even when he was just voicing smoke.
  • I do have to wonder – all the goofy parts considered – if the movie would have been able to be saved if a different female lead had been cast. Katharine Hepburn comes to mind. Maybe also Vivien Leigh – though she’d have turned all the comedic parts into significantly more dramatic ones. Oh! I just had a flash! Lauren Bacall. She’d have been fantastic in it – and have definitely been able to match the screen weight of someone like March, which Veronica Lake could not do. Wouldn’t that have been a fun pairing – Bacall & March?
  • Last thought: Watching this made me immediately want to watch THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (1946), so that I could see March surrounded by actors (and a storyline) on par with his talents.

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