Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941)


Comedy | Romance





Carole Lombard, Robert Montgomery, Gene Raymond, Jack Carson, Philip Merivale, Lucile Watson, William Tracy, Charles Halton, Esther Dale, Emma Dunn, Betty Compson


David Smith (Robert Montgomery) makes the mistake of telling his wife Annie (Carole Lombard) that if he had to do it all over again, he might not have married her. Later that day, an official from the town where they got married calls to see Mr. Smith, and explains that all couples married between 1936 and 1939 in the county were not legally married. David decides to have fun with this fact, but unknown to him, the county official calls to see Annie too, and disaster results.


Two weeks ago I said "Rebecca" was the less Hitchcock of Hitchcock's film. I've just been proved wrong. 

Obviously lacking suspense, "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" is a domestic-romantic, screwball comedy also lacking fun. In a nutshell, it's just a film.

Hitchcock said that the only reason he did this picture was to do a favour to Carole Lombard, and that he didn't even understand the characters written by Norman Krasna. I think there was a reason he didn't make romantic comedies, he wasn't all that good at it.

The plot doesn't really seem to make any sense, which is exactly what some would expect from a screwball comedy. Depending on the main characters acting like idiots, the plot might have worked if this was an half hour episode of a sitcom and not stretched to a one and a half hour film. It wouldn't have been a great episode anyway, because it lacks comedy.

The characters are frustrating rather than funny, and neither husband nor wife is very likeable. However, you care if they get over their mindedness and get back together, because the only idea of these two people escaping each other, free to inflict their awfulness on some other unlucky person is devastating as this film.

Oh the acting. The leads are completely uncharismatic. What's going on with Carole Lombard? Her character changes in almost every scene! One moment she is sweet, the next one she is the most mean human being. Her performance is so bad, it's doubly sad to think she died within a year of this film's release and that this was the last film of hers she lived to see. I'm not sure Robert Montgomery was the right guy to play Mr. Smith. He is rather boring than funny.


  1. You know...I think I watched this film in the past month and forgot I even saw it! I am trying to remember some of the film but it has faded quickly. I don't consider it awful but it is a blah, blah film. I found the backstage events funnier. Hitchcock made a quip that actors are just like cattle. This remark got back to Lombard. When Hitchcock came to the set the following day, he was met with a bunch of cows on set:) I like her style.....just not in this film.

  2. Ya this film is a miss for all involved but in one of the good things about Golden Era Hollywood they all quickly moved on to better projects. Montgomery made Here Comes Mr. Jordan the same year, Hitchcock made Suspicion next and Carole's last film, the classic To Be or Not to Be was scheduled to premiere the day after she was killed in that plane crash though it was understandably postponed. Still it enabled her career to close out on a very high note.