Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Mr. & Mrs. Smith


Not all of Alfred Hitchcock’s movies were murder, action, and suspense. Every once in a while he tried something different, and this is one of them. A lot of people don’t like this one, and I suspect it’s because they were expecting a cliffhanger at the end. No, it’s just a good screwball comedy with George Montgomery and Carole Lombard (her next-to-last picture before her death in a plane crash) and a story involving the comic situation of a married couple finding that their marriage was not, technically, legal. The dialogue is bright and witty and the acting is good. It’s a trifle, but what screwball comedy isn’t? You didn’t come here for deep insights into the human condition.

There are those who claim to see Hitchcock “touches” here and there, but I don’t agree. This movie could have been done by any of a dozen perfectly good writers and directors working in this genre in the ‘30s and ‘40s. Fun fact: It seems that Carole Lombard was a practical joker. Hitch let her direct the one small scene where he puts in his cameo. About 40 minutes in he walks past Robert Montgomery’s building. Nothing to it, he just walks behind his belly—which isn’t too big here, you have to watch closely to catch him. So Carole got an actress’s revenge. She had him do take after take after take, until she got it just right. I wonder if Hitch was amused. I hope so; he was a big practical joker himself.