Edward H. Griffith – One Night in Lisbon (1941)



One Night in Lisbon is one of several pre-1942 films which used the screwball-comedy form to comment upon the raging war in Europe. While transporting American warplanes to the beleagured RAF, Texas flyboy Dwight Houston (Fred MacMurray) is caught in a London air raid. Scurrying to a shelter, Dwight meets icy, well-bred Briton Leonora Pettycote (Madeleine Carroll), with whom he falls in love–a feeling that is far from mutual at first. Eventually responding to Dwight’s charms, Leonora agrees to join him for a night’s revelries (as soon as the Nazi bombers head home, that is), but their budding relationship is complicated by the unexpected presence of Dwight’s ex-wife Gerry Houston (Patricia Morrison and Leonora’s erstwhile sweetheart, Cmdr. Peter Walmsley (John Loder). Escaping their respective suitors, Dwight and Leonara end up in neutral Lisbon, only to land in the middle of a Nazi spy ring. Although poor Leonora gets the worst of it at the hands of the villains, she is game enough to realize that she wants to spend the rest of her life with the footloose Dwight. The film is filled to overflowing with familiar character faces, including Britishers Edmund Gwenn and Dame May Whitty, French émigré Marcel Dalio and even perennial Laurel and Hardy foil James Finlayson. One Night in Lisbon was based on There’s Always Juliet, a pre-WW2 play by John Van Druten.by Hal Erickson Continue reading

Edward H. Griffith – Another Language (1933)


Stella and Victor, who meet, fall in love and marry soon after meeting in Europe, blissfully sail back to the states to meet Victor’s family. And then the honeymoon is over, for Victor’s family, dominated by his manipulative mother, find Stella pretentious and aloof. In truth, Stella is a free spirit and their marriage starts to fall apart when Victor begins siding with his family instead of his wife. Written by Chris Stone Continue reading