- There’s some over-the-top lettering going on in the opening credits. Some of the scripts are kind of nice – but in conjunction with Mesquite (or whatever similar font it is) – it’s all a bit much, stylistically.
- Oh…this movie is set in 1867?
“Boston Post Road
In the year 1867″
Hm. I had no idea! It is also apparently based on a book Hiram P. Maxim wrote about his father, Hiram S. Maxim, the inventor. Interesting!
- Myrna Loy is looking fine and sassy in her period-appropriate attire.
- Jane (Loy) is apparently giving up pig-raising and is moving to Brooklyn “to get married.”
- On her first day, she meets Don Ameche (Hiram Maxim) on a trolley. He does this fun thing where he exits the (slow-moving) trolley to take part in the rice-throwing portion of a wedding ceremony they pass by – then hops back aboard to his seat. “You must be very fond of weddings, sir,” comments an old man on the trolley. “No,” Don Ameche responds, “I just like to throw stuff at people.”
- Jane informs her cousin’s wife (Cousin Garnet, played by Molly Lamont) of her intentions in coming to Brooklyn. Here’s the kind of husband she’s looking for:
“He should be in a substantial profession, have a nice house to live in, sufficient income to run it…”
Cousin Garnet’s ladyfriends are scandalized. “This is shocking! Josephine Maria, cover your ears!” says one. “I never heard such bold talk in all my life!” says another.
What do y’all want her to say, you old bags? That she’s looking for a man with a shitty job, who lives in a dumpster, who is bankrupt? Like…what the fuck else would she be looking for?! It’s not like she said, ‘I’m looking for a tall, tan hunk with a nice ass,’ or something.
- Myrna Loy’s satiny flower-lined dress is gorgeous. I wish I could see it in color! It reminds me of a wedding cake – in the loveliest way possible.
- There’s a scene at a ball/dance in which Hiram shakes his head yes or no, from a distance, to signal to Jane whether the men she’s talking to meet her qualifications or not. Solidly cute.
- Afterwards (like…a number of days after), Hiram strolls over to warn Jane (he & her cousin are next-door neighbors) that she has involved herself with an inconvertible bachelor (Mr. Josephus Ford, a lawyer/volunteer fireman who has plans to build several boat docks in the near future). Jane’s like, ‘Uh huh, uh huh, yeah, whatever…P.S. will you proofread our ENGAGEMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS?’
Hiram is sufficiently shamed.
- Later: “That precious little frown tells me you’re thinking – and women shouldn’t ever think when they have a man to do it for them!” says Josephus (Richard Gaines).
Alright, Jane – party’s over. Drop his condescending bachelor ass on the front lawn & let’s never speak of him again.
- Hiram shares with Jane what his eventual wife/marriage will be like:
“She’ll have to help me. I’ll need her – need her strength when I weaken, need her love when I’m defeated, need her laughter to match my own.”
A+. Love it. Marry this guy.
- Aha! Joseeeephus is toast! Someone let slip that his latest business acquisition involves livestock – pigs, specifically. Since Jane has sworn to be done with pigs for all eternity – this is probably a game changer/ender.
- Sure enough – she scurries right over to Hiram’s house to propose to him, instead.
“You’re the loveliest lunatic I’ve ever seen,” he says in response.
- ‘You will regret this!’ says Joseeeephus. “I will be one of the biggest men in Brooklyn!”
Oh, fuck you, Josephus. Nobody likes a self-important dullard, no matter how many pigs he has or docks he plans to build.
- Jane & Hiram get married & are very happy & have a son named Percy who gets made fun of because his name is Percy.
- Once upon a time, Percy is not a fan of Cousin Garnet (it’s okay, Percy, no one is a fan of Cousin Garnet) & sticks some knitting needles in her chair for her to sit on, as a practical joke. Cousin Garnet demands Percy be switched (that is – whipped, not traded for another child), as punishment.
The scene that results is really funny – in the upstairs bedroom, Hiram, who’s never switched Percy in his life, decides to “test” the branches (which he’s pulled from a tree outside), on the bed in the room. Down below, Jane & the maid & Cousin Garnet hear the swats, & think Percy is receiving an extended, brutal beating. Don Ameche plays the scene so seriously that it becomes hilarious.
“We experimented, dear, but couldn’t find the proper switch,” says Hiram, when Jane comes running up the stairs to put a stop to the brutality. Excellent.
- I’ve already commented on the loveliness of the costumes in this movie (credit: Travis Banton & Vera West) – now I will comment on the talent of whoever was in charge of doing Myrna Loy’s hair! It’s beautiful throughout – but there’s one style, about halfway through, when the Science Society (?) comes to give Hiram an award, that is absolutely exquisite! It’s like…a multi-thick-braid up-do – and it’s incredible from behind.
- Ha! In that same scene, the Important Men from the Science Museum mistake Hiram for a gardener/handyman (one of them calls him “an oaf”!)…and when Hiram comes in to give them a piece of his mind, Jane is like, ‘Oh, don’t mind this man – this is Ed Patterson. My husband likes to keep him around!’
Ed Patterson? Ha. It’s a solid scene.
- Hiram doesn’t want his portrait painted for the Science Museum. Jane’s like, ‘What if I chose to screw societal conventions, like you? What if I started smoking cigars?’ (She does, & Hiram counters this move by inviting the Purity League over to their house, unannounced. Ha, again!)
- Their family’s dog is named Skipper – and he looks awfully cute with a bonnet on his head.
- At first I liked Percy (Bobby Driscoll), but now he’s annoying.
- Somehow, Baby #2 arrives (despite Jane never looking even remotely pregnant), and with that, all is happy & that’s the end.
- This was a fun movie, but there wasn’t much point to it.
- I’d say Don Ameche & Myrna Loy were good together – but knowing what a Myrna Loy + William Powell or a Myrna Loy + Clark Gable pairing looks like – it’s difficult to compare. Still, they were a decent couple in this – they acted very well together.
- (Oh, and in case you’re wondering what the real-life Hiram Maxim invented, since the movie did not ever tell us – he apparently invented a hair-curling iron, a locomotive headlight, and the first fully automatic machine gun…among a lot of other things.) (Cool!)