Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

George Washington Slept Here


George Washington Slept Here (1942) Here we have The Egg and I with the roles reversed. In that one Fred MacMurray did an incredibly stupid and inconsiderate thing. He bought a dilapidated chicken farm without telling his new bride, plopped her down there on their honeymoon. She is long-suffering from that point on. In this one, Ann Sheridan buys a house in the country without telling her husband, Jack Benny. Jack spends the rest of the picture zapping her with sarcastic one-liners, which she seems oblivious to. To call this house a wreck is far, far too generous. The only solution to its many problems would be a bulldozer, and even that wouldn’t be the end of your problems. This is all precipitated by a little dog who chews the carpets in their apartment house, forcing them to move, though Jack loves living in the city. I instantly perceived a much better solution to this dog’s behavior problems than relocating to the country. A load of buckshot would be much more effective. For a better example of this sort of fish-out-of-water story I’d recommend Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, with Cary Grant and Myrna Loy. At least they both go into it together, neither of them is being played for a sap by a nightmare spouse, which made it a lot easier for me to enjoy. I mean, I know these are comedies, but it’s hard for me to laugh when I start out really, really disliking one of the parties. Footnote for animals: The bratty cairn terrier is played by Jerry, best known as “Toto.” This was his next-to-last film.