W.S. Van Dyke – I Love You Again (1940)


Plot Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Those popular MGM co-stars William Powell and Myrna Loy take a break from their usual Thin Man duties to star in the zany comedy I Love You Again. The film opens with Loy prepared to divorce her dull businessman husband Powell. A blow on the head causes Powell to remember his former life as a notorious con man. No one in town has any knowledge of Powell’s criminal past, a fact he hopes to use to his advantage. Loy, astounded at Powell’s sudden surge of amorous ardor, reconsiders her divorce. When she learns of his true identity, she is even more fascinated. Another blow on the head restores the non-criminal Powell–at least, that’s what he and Loy would like you to believe. The film’s highlight is a screamingly funny sequence in which Powell plays scoutmaster to a group of surly youngsters (including Our Gang veterans Carl Switzer and Mickey Gubitosi, aka Robert Blake).


From “Gone With the Twins”
The winning team of William Powell and Myrna Loy is enough to warrant interest in any film, and although I Love You Again has an immensely curious premise, the humor isn’t as consistent as in their most popular screwball comedies. Based on the novel by Octavus Roy Cohen, the film delivers some truly sensational moments constructed on the typically hilarious mayhem surrounding amnesia, but Powell’s dialogue feels occasionally forced and the supporting characters don’t seem to contribute to the hilarity as often as they need too – especially with severe subplots that take the film in a serious direction too frequently for the lighthearted chemistry of Powell and Loy to overcome.
It’s 1940 and boring businessman Larry Wilson (William Powell) is vacationing on a pleasure cruise, drinking his ginger ale and grape juice and irking the men at the bar with tales of his hometown. When inebriated passenger “Doc” Ryan (Frank McHugh) falls off the ship, Wilson dives in after him and suffers a blow to the head (from the rescuers). Now a hero with the indebted Ryan at his side, Wilson is also awoken from a shocking nine years of amnesia. In an incredibly unique twist and a brilliant start to a film, he doesn’t undergo the effects of amnesia, but rather comes out of it.



Subtitles:English French

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