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Monday, July 2, 2012

Without Love by Harold S. Bucquet, 1945 (NR)

with Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Lucille Ball, Keenan Wynn, Carl Esmond, Patricia Morison, Felix Bressart, Emily Massey, Gloria Grahame

Convinced that two people can have a meaningful partnership without the trappings of romance, pragmatic widow Jamie Rowan (Katharine Hepburn) asks scientist Pat Jamieson (Spencer Tracy) to marry her on condition that the relationship remain platonic. But Jamie's plan falls apart when an ex-girlfriend of Pat's shows up and makes a jealous Jamie realize that their union is no longer a marriage of convenience. Lucille Ball and Keenan Wynn also star.

I have to say this movie left me a bit clueless. The background of the story is interesting with the invention of the oxygen mask. Of course, It is a comedy, but with quite a seriousness to it. It has romance, but everything sounds off, from the moment they are supposed not to love each other where there is actually chemistry, to the moment where they are supposed to love each other which looks like they are cold friends. Perhaps the fault goes to the puritan cinema of the time that was only allowing them to either kiss coldly making sure their mouth were aseptically closed or hug in the way she would have to lower herself to look smaller and twist her neck along the way in a very peculiar way (by the way, what went wrong with this poster, Katharine Hepburn is completely upside down... Oh I just got it, probably a reference to the experiment they do about oxygen in altitude where she ends up upside down, funny). Anyway, besides that, I would like to comment on the man who plays the cousin Quentin, Keenan Wynn, he is amazing, his acting is so modern he looks like he comes from the future of cinema. He doesn't overact, his American is very contemporary, still manages to be in the tone of the movie with class, he is excellent.

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