FOUR'S A CROWD (1938) 

Errol Flynn
Rosalind Russell
Olivia de Havilland
Patric Knowles
Walter Connolly
Hugh Herbert
Melville Cooper
Franklin Pangborn
Herman Bing
Margaret Hamilton

Michael Curtiz


Time: 92 mins.
Rating: Not Rated
Genre: Comedy/Romance

BOTTOM LINE: Clever dialogue and high energy are the only things that keep this often confusing and rather mediocre romantic comedy entertaining. While the leads exude an overabundance of charm, especially Flynn, one never buys into the machinations of finding true love on display here. Russell plays a reporter who's about to lose her job if she can't save the paper, which is run by Knowles. She convinces him the only way to stay afloat is to rehire Flynn as the managing editor, even though he hates him. Flynn's established a quite lucrative PR firm on his own, converting rich scoundrels into public saints. He initially refuses the offer, but then changes his mind when he realizes he can use the paper to secure a local millionaire as a client. De Havilland plays the millionaire's ditzy granddaughter and a pawn of love in Flynn's game of forced philanthropy. Russell flits back and forth between the men, declaring feelings for whomever will help her achieve her goals. We're supposed to believe that despite all the backstabbing and secrecy that Flynn really loves Russell and Knowles really loves De Havilland, but the film never manages to truly convince one of that. Too much energy is spent on the various schemes to leave much time for romance. The end comes at breakneck speed tying the lose ends up so quickly it'll give you whiplash.

"I'm in love with a man whom I dislike intensely, who'd cheat me, who'd lie to me, whom I wouldn't trust as far as I could throw the Queen Mary."

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