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Thursday, July 6, 2017

"Bluebeard's Eighth Wife" (1938)

One thousand kilowatt star power on display here. A luminous Claudette Colbert is the daughter of a penniless marquis (the ubiquitous Edward Everett Horton). When she falls for, and agrees to marry, a rich businessman on holiday in the French Riviera (Gary Cooper at his most unbelievably handsome),  she finds out she's not his first wife but his eighth. That's a problem for her so she decides to make sure he's sincere. It's a paper thin plot, but it's wrapped in a script filled with asides, non-sequiturs, one-liners, and sightgags by Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett. Some of the bits are laugh-out-loud great. Maybe it's that famous "touch" of the director Ernst Lubitsch, but big credit goes to the effortless √©lan of the two stars who make it all look way to easy. And isn't that the definition of 'star' anyway?

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