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Sunday, March 18, 2012

I Love My Husband, But! (1946) - A Hilarious Unknown Gem

Dave O'Brien and Dorothy Short in "Captain Midnight"

This is a gem, but nobody knows about it.  Well, nobody except those who might chance to catch it during one of its airings on TCM at odd times in between features.

Everybody knows Bob Hope, Rodney Dangerfield, Phil Silvers, and so on and so forth.  They weren't the only funny people around, and maybe not the funniest at all  They were famous, that was true, and that is why are remembered.  But there are lots of famous people these days, does that make them the most talented?  Well, I'm sure "The Situation" and "Octomom" think so.  Maybe you and I have different ideas about that.

Dave O'Brien directs, writes and stars in this classic short.  It isn't all that original in concept, so he had to excel at the execution.  And, boy, does he do that.

So, let's take on the truth about married life!  This is one of a series of shorts that tackle just that question.  We proceed through a series of vignettes that show how a loving spouse's little "quirks" can become like dynamite over time, fracturing all the good deeds one can do in this life.

Dorothy Short

Dorothy Short excels.  She plays the wife who, with every little provocation, finally goes over the edge.  She is perfection as she does the slow burn or stomps her feet or does one of any number of other things that we sometimes think, but seldom do.  She was a fine comedienne, right up there in the same league as Lucille Ball, but obviously not nearly as well known.  Narrator Pete Smith chips in with wise-guy inflections that enhance the comedy at every turn.
Dorothy Short in "Reefer Madness"

O'Brien directs with panache.  Watch as he has to fix a curtain rod - "All he has to do is put ONE NAIL HERE (huge arrow pointing to the spot)" - and see what happens.  You know what happens.  It's as inevitable as the sunrise and sunset.  But it is hilarious anyway.

In my opinion, this should have won an Academy Award for Best Short (the pun is intentional).

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