Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Film Review: This Is My Affair (1937)

Robert and Barbara in their second
film together.
Photo Courtesy of
TCMDb: Navy Lt. Richard Perry becomes an undercover man out to discover the leaders of a group of well connected men who pull off bank robberies during the McKinley administration (early 20th century).

     I can only say that it's no wonder that Barbara Stanwyck fell for Robert Taylor and vice verse. They were absolutely gorgeous in this film, and even if This Is My Affair was terrible, I'd suggest that you'd watch it anyways because of the fact that they are so gorgeous together. However, This Is My Affair isn't a terrible--in fact it's a very entertaining film, and so I'm going to suggest that you watch it for as much as the story as the two beautiful leads.
Has there ever been a more stunning couple
than these two?
Photo Courtesy of
     So, the main reason why I love doing my Star of the Month, despite the fact that I'm usually always late with posting them on their assigned days, and for this I apologize (I'm hoping I'll be able to get them up on their actual days this summer since I won't have school--but then again, I'll be having a job this summer as well, so we'll just have to see), I get to discover new people or get to learn more about the ones I already know a little about; I get to discover new films either way.
     As I was deciding what five essentials I should choose for the Miss, I decided I really wanted to stick to films that were for, the majority, unknown, or not as popular as the rest of her films (which is what I've tried to do with all of my stars so far). When I was combing through Missy's filmography, and I saw this title, the first thing I thought was Oh, another melodrama. Not that I have anything against melodramas, but I just have to be in the right mood for them.
Missy with Victor McLaglen (right) and Brian Donlevy (left)
Photo Courtesy of http://www.movieactors.com
     After I read the synopsis, I discovered, to my delight, that This Is My Affair isn't a melodrama at all, but rather a whodunit with a twist, and the twist simply being the fact that it took place back in McKinley's term in the Oval Office, which I guess really isn't a twist at all. The point is, I liked the film. It's not the greatest, but it's entertaining.
Lt. Richard L. Perry/Joe Patrick, Lil Duryea, and Jock Ramsay
Photo Courtesy of http://www.straightjacketsmagazine.com
     A sort of a running gag in the film, though there's really hardly no gags at all, is that Victor McLaglen's character, Jock, who's in love with Lil, is an amateur magician--or rather, that's what he thinks he is. He's the bully who thinks he's hilarious, but really is nothing more than a jerk picking on people smaller than him. The tricks he plays on the people around him are silly and insipid. I mean, when he's about to be hanged, and the priest is standing there asking him if there's anything he'd like to say, or do, after telling him in so many words, no, he then asks the priest to sit down, and says as he fans a deck of cards out, "Pick a card. Any card." Really? Who does that?
The Taylor's--before they were the Taylor's.
Photo Courtesy of
     An interesting note is that two years after the making of this film, Robert Taylor and Barbara Stanwyck became husband and wife on May 14, 1939; the first for Robert, and the second (and final) for Barbara. They had starred together just one year before in 1936's His Brother's Wife. They would divorce in 1951, and would star co-star together in one more film much later in 1964's Night Walker (they did not play love interests, but rather Robert was Barbara's lawyer who was trying to kill her . . . yeah . . .). In short, it's not the best film, it has its weak moments, but it's still enjoyable. I found the actor who portrayed Teddy Roosevelt to be highly amusing ("Bully, bully, bully!). I give This Is My Affair a 3/4 stars.

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