Tonight's review is of one of my very favorite movies (have you heard me say that before?): His Brother's Wife. Starring my very favorite actress, Barbara Stanwyck (Stany <3) and one of my favorite actors, Robert Taylor. Now, when you get one of them in a movie it's good, but both of them and you can bet it's going to be one fantastic movie - which this one is. A lot of other reviews I've read hated this movie, I just don't understand it, this movie is amazing. I love it.
Short version of the plot: Stany meets Robert Taylor. They fall in love. He goes to the jungle. She marries his brother. He comes back from the jungle. The he takes her to the jungle with him. She almost dies. He saves her. They get married. The end. For more detail, read on. I dare you!
The long plot goes something like this: the opening scene is of sick people dying of spotted fever in the jungle. It only lasts a moment then we're in New York at a hospital trying to find the cause of the spotted fever. Chris Claybourne (Robert Taylor) is all set to go to the jungle to do more research, but the people with the money are sick of sending scientists to the jungles because the scientists keep dying of the sickness they're trying to cure. Chris convinces them that it's a good idea to send him, then he goes to a restaurant/gambling-house/bar where he meets Rita Wilson (Stany) while playing roulette (I'm pretty sure). Rita wins some money (Chris loses a ton) then the owner of the place, Fish-eyes, asks Rita to come to his office where he offers her a job. Basically her offers to pay her for getting rich people to come and waste their money. She says no, then she runs into Chris again. They start talking and he tells her that he's going to the jungle. Since he'll be risking his life Rita agrees to accompany him on his last 10 days in New York. The only condition is that they don't fall in love (no 'sentimental hangovers'). So they spend the next 10 days doing everything from sailing to baseball games - lots of fun. Also, during all of this they collect everyone's hats (really, everyone - quite a few hats over ten days). Then when the ten days are almost over Rita breaks down and admits that she's fallen in love with him. Apparently, he's also fallen in love with her, but he still has to go to the jungle (and she isn't happy about that). Then he decides not to go, they decide to get married instead. They go to his house so that he can introduce her to his brother and his dad, but on the way there they get taken to Fish-eyes's place where Fish-eyes (isn't that a perfectly awful name? I don't know why they couldn't have named him George or something) threatens to send Chris to jail because the check he wrote to cover the $5,000 he lost playing roulette wasn't any good. Anyway, after that Chris and Rita make it to his house, where his brother (Tom) not only criticizes their flash of a romance, but also insists that if Chris doesn't go to the jungle he won't help him raise the money to pay back Fish-eyes. So, Chris agrees to go to the jungle. Rita is not so excited about this idea, in fact she's not excited at all, she thinks it's just Tom's idea of a way to get rid of the stray cat Chris brought home. She runs out of the house angry and hurt - then she goes to visit Fish-eyes and tells him that she'll work for him on the condition that he won't use the bad check against Chris. She tells him that she'll work until she can pay it off. One day while she's working there Tom walks in and starts talking to Rita. The poor sucker doesn't even know what he's getting himself into by talking to her. Next we see Chris in the jungle. He's facing failure and the heat and he can't stand it. The doctor who he's working with tries to convince him that they're getting closer, but the Doc gives Chris permission to take a boat back to New York to get himself straightened out again despite that. When he gets back to New York his brother is about to get fired from his job at the hospital (he's a doctor like Chris is) because he can't keep his mind on his work. It seems that Tom has broken off his engagement to the girl he's been engaged to forever, because he married someone else (you have 3 seconds to guess whom he married). Yes, poor man, he married Rita; and as soon as they were married she ditched him. This is when Tom also tells Chris that Rita payed off his check to Fish-eyes because she was still in love with him. Then Chris goes to visit Rita at work and he asks her why she bothered to marry Tom. She explains that she was so upset she wanted to get even with him. She just wanted to hurt anything in striking range: aka Tom and Tom's fiancee. With that out of the way he tells her that he's got $711 and starting there he's going to pay her back every nickel and dime that she payed on his debt to Fish-eyes. Then he starts thinking...7 11...7 11...he decides it must be his lucky night. So, they go play dice, and it really turns out to be his lucky night. He wins back all of the money he owed Rita, plus a bit. Then Chris asks Rita to come to the jungle with him. While they're down there in the jungle Rita helps out a bit cooking and what-not, during all of this Rita is still waiting for Tom to give her a divorce so that Chris can marry her. Then one of the other scientists is dying of spotted fever and Chris is even more upset than he was before. Suddenly Chris is struck with the idea that maybe the spotted fever is being caused by ticks from animals (in this case goats) rather than ticks from the jungle. When they prove that right they figure that the cure must be in the goats blood because none of the goats were getting sick. They make some serum from the goat's blood and administer it to the sick scientist but he dies anyway. When the letter granting Rita her divorce does come she's happy because she thinks that she'll finally get to marry Chris, but Chris gives her the old heave-ho; thus breaking her heart again. After this a few government officials come around to tell the Doctor and Chris that they aren't allowed to try to cure any more citizens of whatever country they're in because they all keep dying, and they aren't allowed to leave the city they're in either. Rita comes back into the house and over hears this, then, once the officials have left, offers herself as a guinea pig for their new serum. Of course Chris isn't going to do that, he tells her to hit the road. Then, the Doc and Chris go into the middle of the jungle where they're going to inject Chris with the disease and then try out the serum on him. Rita goes to the government officials to tell them that Chris is leaving the city, but I guess they don't really care - they don't do anything about it. Then we see Chris and the Doc sitting in a hut in the jungle getting ready to inject Chris, but then the Doc loses his nerve and "accidentally" breaks the bottle of serum. Chris goes out to get more goat blood and Rita comes in and tells the Doc that she won't let Chris do this to himself. Oh, no, of course not; she does it to herself instead, the brilliant girl. Chris and the Doc are horrified at what she's done (again I ask you, how would YOU feel about that?). Then, since their serum is gone, Chris lays her on one of cots and he and the Doc get to making more. Once they've got the serum ready and Chris is about to give some to Rita he has second thoughts. He starts thinking about their first test with it (the other scientist) and how his heart stopped after they gave it to him, but the Doc convinces Chris to give it to her. She lives and Chris and her get married. The last scene - they're sitting on the deck of a boat on their way to New York, Chris is practicing his acceptance speech for the hospital which will be built in the jungle, and he's also wondering how hard it would be to get the captain's cap for their collection. The End.
I really love this movie. Really. Why? 1. Good leading man. 2. Good leading lady. 3. Good ending, very good ending. ;) By the way, I just remembered that I mentioned before that I didn't like leading men who were more than a year younger than their leading ladies - Barbara Stanwyck (born 1907) and Robert Taylor (born 1911) are my one exception. I love them together.
Morally, 3 kisses (I think). Chris mentions evolution, but I think he was making a joke. No swearing or anything of that nature.
Babs and Bob. Pretty cute.
The words here (in case you can't read them) say: "Aren't you thrilled, Bob? Our picture's a sensation at the box office!" "That goes without saying, Barbara. It's a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer picture." Talk about conceited! ;)
Just so that you all know, I'm crazy about Stany's jodhpurs (her pants). They are just too awesome.
They don't know each other. <-- That was so random, but it's just what I felt like commenting.
I like this picture a lot, actually.
I had a dream about them once. Me and Stany and Bob were hanging out on the set of "This is my Affair" (1937).
That was a good dream. ;)
Best Movie Lines:
Rita: You're not a scientist they have whiskers down to here.
Chris: That's why they disguised me as a playboy, to fool the bugs.
Rita: Work, at 9:00.
Chris: What do they do to you if you don't show up?
Rita: What do you do with a gun?
Chris: I make eggs like nobody's business.
Rita: With a gun?
Chris: No, with a stove, you idiot!
Ah, love. <3
Chris: It's been nice hasn't it, kid?
Rita: Oh, yes, there hasn't been a bit of rain.
Chris: Us, I meant, stupid! Not the weather.
Like, I said...ah, love. <3
Rita: Where is he?
The Doc: Where is who?
Rita: The king of Siam, but I'll take Chris Claybourne!
Rita: Good old fashioned Claybourne chivalry, huh? Tear 'em to pieces, but tip your hat to them on the way out. You're not taking me any place. Thanks for the boat-ride and the humiliation.
Chris: Mrs. Claybourne really doesn't feel she deserves this beautiful silver tea set. All she asks is that a monument be placed side by side with that of Florence Nightingale.
Rita: With a simple inscription to the girl who knocked the spots off spotted fever.
Rita: I love New York in May.
Chris: Even when it's October?
There we go. Good night to you all!
Until Later On~