Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

I Married a Witch


Thorne Smith drank himself to death before he could finish the book this is based on. It was completed by Norman H. Matson. Smith’s trademark fantasy stories (he was best known for creating the Topper books) were considered quite racy in the ‘30s, and are pretty tame now, but still a lot of fun. This one was directed by Rene Clair and stars Fredric March and Veronica Lake.

Sometimes I wish I didn’t know some of the things I know. One of those facts is the tragic story of Veronica Lake, who I always liked in the movies. She had one of the worst downfalls of any screen star, ever, due to alcoholism and mental illness. (Actually, her story would make a pretty good, sad movie.) She ended up penniless in New York, working as a waitress, before coming into a little money and starring in and self-producing Flesh Feast, one of the worst movies ever made. It was her last screen appearance, and a sorry way to end a career.

On the other hand, sometimes it’s fun to learn of Hollywood dish, like this paragraph I can’t resist quoting from Wikipedia: Joel McCrea was originally slated to play the male lead, but declined because he did not want to work with Veronica Lake again, after not getting along with her on Sullivan’s Travels. March and Lake also had problems, beginning with March’s pre-production comment that Lake was “a brainless little blonde sexpot, void of any acting ability,” to which Lake retaliated by calling March a “pompous poseur.” Things did not get much better during filming, as Lake was prone to playing practical jokes on March, like hiding a 40-pound weight under her dress for a scene in which March had to carry her, or pushing her foot repeatedly into his groin during the filming of a from-the-waist-up shot.