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No Time For Love (1943)

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Long before My Three Sons and becoming the go to actor for a fatherly role in Walt Disney productions from the late fifties into the seventies leading man Fred MacMurray played everything from comedy to drama to a standard of noir cinema. For this film he is teamed with one of the golden age’s best light comediennes, Claudette Colbert. Perhaps they should be classified as a team as this was their 4th of 7 pairings on film including the kickoff for the Ma and Pa Kettle series, The Egg and I in 1947.  

This time out Colbert is a tempermental photographer for Mirror Magazine who meets a shirtless Fred MacMurray while on a shoot below ground as a river tunnel is being excavated. One thing leads to another and Fred is fired  from his job as a “sand hog”, leading Colbert to blame herself and she hires him as a gopher out of guilt. It’s a clash of high society and your everyday working class mug. I find the film stumbles along trying to keep us interested in what we all know will be the inevitable fade out but it’s the fun in getting there that counts. What laughs there are come mainly from Colbert and to see her struggle through a mud slide and throw a perfectly timed right hook on her competition for Fred’s affections makes the viewing that much better. Released by Paramount studios from director Mitchell Leisen who himself was very familiar with our 2 leads having directed Claudette a total of 4 times and Fred in 8 films. He directed only one of their other teamings, Practically Yours.

The film includes one of the more bizarre dream sequences I can recall. Especially from this era and must be seen to be “appreciated”. As this was a film made in the middle of WW2 it is worth noting in two seperate scenes there are posters on the wall behind our actors for the War Bond drive. Today we’d call it a product placement although in this case it served a greater purpose. The film is available as part of the Claudette Colbert Collection box set from Universal on DVD if you go looking for it.

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