Fools for Scandal

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Fools for Scandal
Carole Lombard in Fools For Scandal trailer 2.JPG
Trailer featuring Carole Lombard
Directed by Mervyn LeRoy
Written by Herbert Fields
Joseph Fields
Starring Carole Lombard
Fernand Gravey
Ralph Bellamy
Distributed by Warner Brothers
Release dates April 16, 1938
Country United States
Language English

Fools for Scandal is a 1938 comedy film starring Carole Lombard, Fernand Gravey, and Ralph Bellamy. It is now best remembered as one of Lombard's worst films and one that set her on the course for seeking dramatic roles for the next few years.


Film star Kay Winters (Lombard) is traveling through Paris under the pseudonym of Kay Summers. She meets Rene (Gravey), a Frenchman who appears to be poor. He offers to give her a tour of the real Paris. Kay, who already had plans to attend dinner with Lady Malverton (Isabel Jeans), agrees, having been charmed by the impetuous Rene. Once finished with the tour, they have dinner, and unexpectedly run into Lady Malverton and her party. Lady Malverton calls Rene over to her table, whom she had also invited to join her party, and when he returns he discovers that Kay has left. However, she left a note asking him to lunch with her the following day.

Kay returns to her hotel, to see Phillip Chester (Bellamy) waiting for her, the man who is in love with her. The next day, Kay is waiting by the fountain and Rene discovers that he has overslept. His friend, Dewey Gilson (Allen Jenkins), has taken too long getting Rene's suit from the pawn shop and while Rene waits, helplessly, as Kay prepares to leave their meeting place. However, he runs down and obtains two carpets from a salesman, wrapping them around himself as a form of wealthy robe. He alerts Kay that he will be ready to have lunch in just a while, but two women, who believe that he is selling the carpets, demand to buy them. In an argument about who can buy the carpets between the women and Kay, the carpets are pulled from Rene and he runs away in his underwear.

Later, Rene discovers that Kay is actually a movie star. Before he can contact her, however, she leaves for London. Rene follows her. He comes to her house at a party in which Kay has ordered her guests to appear in masks of their favorite animals. Upon seeing Rene, she invites him to dinner, where Lady Malverton tells him to demonstrate his skills as a chef. After tasting the food that Rene prepares, Kay, as a joke, offers him a job as her cook. Rene, delighted, accepts without Kay knowing. Meanwhile, Phillip begs Kay to marry him, but she again postpones her answer.

Lady Malverton finds Rene in the kitchen, where he tells her that he has taken the job of being Kay's chef. Lady Malverton spreads the gossip. The following morning Kay is delivered breakfast by Rene and begs him to leave. Rene tells her he has no such intention and answers the phone several times and tells everyone he is Kay's chef. Lady Malverton arrives with a swarm of gossips and demands to know the truth. Kay tells them that she has hired him as a chef. Nonetheless, the tabloids are already running reports that Rene is Kay's "love chef".

Kay, undaunted, accepts Phillip's proposal of marriage and orders an engagement dinner. Rene does his best to spoil the dinner and succeeds, with Phillip walking out of the house after a fight between him and Kay. Rene finally gets Kay to admit she loves him, but she tells him that she will not marry him as the difference in social status between them will earn her the derision of everyone she knows. Rene tells her that he is a French marquis and leaves, angered by her silly fears. Kay follows him into an opera house where they kiss before an unexpected audience.



Fools for Scandal was an enormous box office failure and although Lombard herself always considered The Gay Bride to be her worst film, many contemporary fans cite this as her worst. The flop of Fools for Scandal was partially attributed to Lombard's chemistry with Gravet, or lack of it. Fools for Scandal did feature a cameo by Lombard's beloved Pekingese, Pushface, and provided the third pairing for Lombard and Bellamy. Because of the utter failure, Lombard began to pursue only dramatic roles for the next few years, until pairing with Alfred Hitchcock and Robert Montgomery for 1941's Mr. & Mrs. Smith.

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