Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941 film)
- For other uses see Mr. & Mrs. Smith (disambiguation)
|Mr. & Mrs. Smith|
original film poster
|Directed by||Alfred Hitchcock|
|Produced by||Harry E. Edington|
|Written by||Norman Krasna|
|Music by||Edward Ward|
|Cinematography||Harry Stradling Sr.|
|Editing by||William Hamilton|
|Distributed by||RKO Radio Pictures|
|Running time||95 minutes|
Mr. & Mrs. Smith is a 1941 screwball comedy film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, written by Norman Krasna, and starring Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery. It also features Gene Raymond, Jack Carson, Philip Merivale and Lucile Watson.
While Hitchcock later claimed he directed the film – the only pure comedy he made in America – as a favor to Lombard, the files at RKO Radio Pictures show that Hitchcock himself pursued the project.
Ann (Carole Lombard) and David Smith (Robert Montgomery) are a happily married couple living in New York. One morning, Ann asks David if he had to do it over again, would he marry her? To her disappointment, he answers he wouldn't. Later that day, they both separately find out that, due to a complication during the process of marriage three years earlier, they are in fact not legally married. Ann does not mention this to David, and thinks he will remarry her that very night after he takes her out to a romantic dinner. When this does not happen, she angrily kicks David out of their home.
David spends the night at his club, where a friend advises him to just wait a day, and then go back home. But when David drops by after work, Ann announces behind a closed door that she is not married to David, and has no intention of ever marrying him.
An angry and disheartened David takes to following Ann around, in the process interrupting a date and getting her fired from her job. A friend and co-worker of David, Jeff (Gene Raymond), tells David he will talk to Ann and persuade her to remarry David. But when David shows up later that evening, he finds that Jeff has instead arranged a date with Ann the following night. David arranges a blind date at the same restaurant, but his date is vulgar and rude and the affair ends in disaster.
Later, Ann and Jeff go to the World's Fair, but become stuck on a ride and are forced to sit through several hours of rain many feet up in the air.
Ann and Jeff begin to date seriously, and Ann even meets Jeff's parents, an event that quickly becomes awkward when David barges in. To escape, Ann and Jeff decide to take a vacation with Jeff's parents at a skiing resort—the same resort where Ann and David had earlier been planning to holiday. Upon arriving at the resort, they find that David has rented a cabin right next to them, but when confronted, David simply faints. David spends the next few hours pretending to be sick and delirious while Ann fawns over him, but when Ann discovers his deception, she yells at him and leaves. Ann then loudly stages a pretend one-way conversation with Jeff in order for David to see they are very serious about each other. This falls through when David storms in to find her talking to thin air. In the end, Ann and David, once the picture of a happy couple, are screaming at each other when Jeff walks in. Ann then attacks Jeff for not beating up David, and Jeff and his parents leave in a huff.
Ann, alone at last, struggles with her skis until David offers to help her, then lifts up her legs so that she cannot get up. When Ann yells at him, he just bends down and kisses her, silencing her.
- Carole Lombard as Ann Krausheimer Smith
- Robert Montgomery as David Smith
- Gene Raymond as Jefferson Custer
- Jack Carson as Chuck Benson
- Philip Merivale as Ashley Custer
- Lucile Watson as Mrs. Custer
- William Tracy as Sammy
- Charles Halton as Harry Deever
- Esther Dale as Mrs. Krausheimer
- Emma Dunn as Martha
- Betty Compson as Gertie
Alfred Hitchcock can be seen passing Robert Montgomery in front of his building, at about 43 minutes into the film. Lombard herself directed Hitchcock in the brief scene, forcing him to redo his very simple part many times.
Norman Krasna came up with the basic idea and pitched it to Carole Lombard who was enthusiastic, She told it to George Schaefer of RKO who agreed to buy it off Krasna, then Alfred Hitchcock became involved.
The film was a hit and made a profit of $75,000.
Adaptations in other media 
The Screen Guild Theater adapted the film to radio on February 8, 1942 with Errol Flynn and Lana Turner, then again December 14, 1942 with Joan Bennett, Robert Young and Ralph Bellamy and once more on January 1, 1945 with Preston Foster, Louise Albritton and Stuart Erwin. On January 30, 1949, it was adapted to Screen Director's Playhouse with Robert Montgomery, Mary Jane Croft and Carlton Young.
- Richard Jewel, 'RKO Film Grosses: 1931-1951', Historical Journal of Film Radio and Television, Vol 14 No 1, 1994 p56
- Spoto, Donald (1999). The Dark Side of Genius: The Life of Alfred Hitchcock. Da Capo. p. 237. ISBN 0-306-80932-X.
- *McGilligan, Patrick, "Norman Krasna: The Woolworth's Touch", Backstory: Interviews with Screenwriters of Hollywood's Golden Age, University of California Press,1986 p219
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Mr. & Mrs. Smith (film)|
- Mr. & Mrs. Smith at the Internet Movie Database
- Mr. & Mrs. Smith at the TCM Movie Database
- Mr. & Mrs. Smith at AllRovi