Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Marrying Kind (1952)

Director: George Cukor

Starring: Judy Holliday, Aldo Ray, Madge Kennedy, Sheila Bond, John Alexander, Rex Williams, Phyllis Povah, Mickey Shaughnessy, Griff Barnett, Charles Bronson

More info: IMDb

Tagline: "Shaddup!"

Plot: Florrie and Chet Keefer have had a troublesome marriage. While in the middle of a divorce hearing the judge encourages them to remember the good times they have had hoping that the marriage can be saved.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? Nah.

#5 on Project: Badass Charles Bronson

LEVEL OF BADASSICITY (10 being the highest): 3

Normally with a title like that you'd think it would STAR Charles Bronson but, then again, he's not the marrying kind...he's the takes what he wants, when he wants and you'll take it and like it kind.  Sadly he's got a bit part as Chet's (Ray)co-worker at the post office and he doesn't even have a single line of dialogue.  I guess the producers realized that once he spoke there wouldn't be a gal in the audience who'd be able to forget about him and concentrate on Aldo Ray.  They were already gambling that wouldn't happen just by having him in the picture AND in the same scene as Ray.  It's a good thing Bronson kept his shirt on or the camera would have exploded.

The first half of this is a straight up comedy.  The main characters are ambitious, easily excitable and none too bright.  It's almost annoying.  Fortunately the picture gets more and more serious as it goes, toning down the funny to show the downward spiral of a marriage on the outs.  There's a scene where Chet and Florrie (Holliday) are talking about a horrific tragedy to the judge (I was shocked, by the way) and Ray has a moment of sadness that took me by surprise.  For the first time this kid was showing some range and it looked genuine.  Florrie got better (and less annoying) as the picture went on.  It's that high pitched voice that got to me.  She does a great job playing a ditzy broad.  It was neat discovering online that she reportadly had an IQ of 172.  Nice.  The picture ends as you would suspect but there was quite a journey the leads took that didn't seem normal for the day.  I'm impressed.  Oh, do you remember the foul-mouthed old woman from EVERY WHICH WAY BUT LOOSE (1978) who played Clint Eastwood's mother, Ruth Gordon?  Yeah, she wrote the screenplay for this.


  1. Badass does have one line of dialog. At approximately 9:35 into the film he says, "Hey, look at the pot belly already!" as he pat's Aldo Ray's stomach.

  2. Neat. I completely missed that. Thanks.