|Mr. & Mrs. Smith|
|Directed by||Alfred Hitchcock|
|Written by||Norman Krasna|
|Produced by||Harry E. Edington|
|Cinematography||Harry Stradling Sr.|
|Edited by||William Hamilton|
|Music by||Edward Ward|
|Distributed by||RKO Radio Pictures|
|94 minutes |
|Box office||$1.4 million |
Mr. & Mrs. Smith is a 1941 American screwball comedy film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, written by Norman Krasna, and starring Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery. It also features Gene Raymond, Jack Carson, Philip Merivale, and Lucile Watson.
Although Mr. & Mrs. Smith was the only pure comedy Hitchcock made in America, he later claimed that he agreed to do it only as a favor to Lombard. However, the files at RKO Radio Pictures show that Hitchcock himself actually pursued the project. 
Ann (Carole Lombard) and David Smith (Robert Montgomery) are a married couple living in New York City who, though in love, have disagreements that last for days before they reconcile.
One morning, Ann asks David if he would marry her again if he had it to do over. Although he says he is very happy with her now and wouldn't marry anyone else, he says he would not, because it meant the loss of his freedom and independence.
Later that day, Harry Deever (Charles Halton), an Idaho county official, informs David at work that due to a jurisdictional mishap, their three-year-old marriage in Idaho was not valid. Since Deever is a family acquaintance of Ann's from Idaho, he stops by their apartment to tell Ann and her mother (Esther Dale) the same thing. Ann does not mention this to David. She believes he will remarry her that very night when he invites her to a romantic dinner at the restaurant they frequented before they were married.
When they arrive at the restaurant, it has declined in quality and become rundown, and they return home. Ann grows impatient and confronts David, accusing him of not wanting to marry her again. David protests and claims he was going to ask her shortly, but Ann dismisses him and kicks him out of their apartment. David spends the night at his club, but when he goes home after work the next day Ann's maid refuses him entry. David waits in the lobby and sees Ann return with an older gentleman. Believing the man is her suitor, David becomes angry and disheartened. He intercepts Ann and threatens to withhold financial support. He gets her fired from her new job (the older gentleman is both her suitor and her new boss). Ann tells David she has no intention of ever marrying him again.
David's friend and law partner, Jefferson "Jeff" Custer (Gene Raymond), tells David he will talk to Ann and persuade her to remarry. However, when David arrives that evening, he finds that Jeff has instead agreed to legally represent Ann and goes through the various legal outcomes. Jeff asks Ann to dinner the following night in David's presence. David tells Ann that if she agrees to the date their marriage is over, but Ann accepts the invitation.
After dinner, Ann and Jeff go to the 1939 New York World's Fair, but they become stuck on the parachute ride and are exposed to hours of rain many feet up in the air. When they get back to Jeff's apartment, he plans to put on dry clothes and return to the fair, but Ann feeds the teetotaler "medicinal" liquor ostensibly to prevent a cold, and he becomes drunk. Ann returns home.
Ann and Jeff continue to date and meets Jeff's parents. They decide to take a vacation with Jeff's parents at a Lake Placid skiing resort; the same resort where Ann and David had earlier been planning to holiday. Upon arriving at the resort, they find that David has rented a cabin next to theirs. When confronted, David faints. David pretends to be sick and delirious while Ann fawns over him. When Ann discovers his deception, she becomes furious. While they argue heatedly, Jeff walks in. He knows Ann and David are meant for each other when Ann tries to manipulate Jeff into fighting David.
Ann decides she wants to get away to the lodge by ski, even though she does not know how to ski. David offers to help her put on her skis, but instead places her in a position that prevents her from standing up. As she struggles and threatens him, she frees one foot, but then feigns helplessness by reattaching the ski. David realizes her pretense, and silences her ranting by kissing her.
Alfred Hitchcock can be seen passing Montgomery in front of his apartment building - walking from left to right and smoking a cigar - as the camera pulls back, at 42:58 minutes into the film. To the delight of the crew, Lombard herself directed Hitchcock in the brief scene, forcing him to redo his very simple part many times. 
Norman Krasna came up with the basic idea of Mr. & Mrs. Smith (under the original working titles of "Who Was That Lady I Seen You With?" and "No for an Answer") and pitched it to Carole Lombard, who was enthusiastic. She sold the idea to George Schaefer of RKO who agreed to buy the project from Krasna, then Alfred Hitchcock became involved.  In the 1939 interview What I Do to the Stars, Hitchcock is about to leave England for Hollywood and says he would like to make a movie with Carole Lombard, casting her not in one of her superficial comedies, but in a serious role, because he believes she could be as good a serious actor as Paul Muni or Leslie Howard. The result was Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Hitchcock was never happy with the result and was later dismissive of the film. 
Mr. & Mrs. Smith was the last film released before Lombard's death. To Be or Not to Be (1942) was her final film, released two months after she died in an aircraft crash while on a War Bond tour.
The film is one of the earliest to show a pizzeria and was supposed to contain sounds of a toilet flushing, which was altered to banging pipes for reasons of censorship. 
Mr. & Mrs. Smith was a hit and made a profit of $750,000.  The review in The New York Times described the film thus: "Despite the performances, despite the endless camera magic with which Mr. Hitchcock tries to conceal the thinness of his material, Mr. and Mrs. Smith have their moments of dullness. The result is a chucklesome comedy that fails to mount into a coruscating wave of laughter".  Variety reviewers were more enthusiastic about the film, noting: "Alfred Hitchcock pilots the story in a straight farcical groove without resort to slapstick interludes or overplaying by the characters. Pacing his assignment at a steady gait, Hitchcock catches all of the laugh values from the above par script of Norman Krasna". 
Lux Radio Theatre adapted Mr. & Mrs. Smith to radio on June 9, 1941, with Carole Lombard and Bob Hope. The Screen Guild Theater next adapted it on February 8, 1942, with Errol Flynn and Lana Turner, again on December 14, 1942 with Joan Bennett, Robert Young, and Ralph Bellamy, and once more on January 1, 1945, with Preston Foster, Louise Allbritton, and Stuart Erwin. On January 30, 1949, it was adapted to Screen Director's Playhouse with Robert Montgomery, Mary Jane Croft, and Carleton Young.
Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was an English filmmaker. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in the history of cinema. In a career spanning six decades, he directed over 50 feature films, many of which are still widely watched and studied today. Known as the "Master of Suspense", he became as well known as any of his actors thanks to his many interviews, his cameo roles in most of his films, and his hosting and producing the television anthology Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–65). His films garnered 46 Academy Award nominations, including six wins, although he never won the award for Best Director despite five nominations.
Carole Lombard was an American actress, particularly noted for her energetic, often off-beat roles in screwball comedies. In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked Lombard 23rd on its list of the greatest female stars of Classic Hollywood Cinema.
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Suspicion is a 1941 romantic psychological thriller film noir directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine as a married couple. It also features Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Nigel Bruce, Dame May Whitty, Isabel Jeans, Heather Angel, and Leo G. Carroll. Suspicion is based on Francis Iles's novel Before the Fact (1932).
Muriel Teresa Wright was an American actress. She was nominated twice for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress: in 1941 for her debut work in The Little Foxes, and in 1942 for Mrs. Miniver, winning for the latter. That same year, she received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in The Pride of the Yankees, opposite Gary Cooper. She is also known for her performances in Alfred Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt (1943) and William Wyler's The Best Years of Our Lives (1946).
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The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog is a 1927 British silent thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Marie Ault, Arthur Chesney, June Tripp, Malcolm Keen and Ivor Novello. Hitchcock's third feature film, it was released on 14 February 1927 in London and on 10 June 1928 in New York City. The film is based on the 1913 novel The Lodger by Marie Belloc Lowndes and the play Who Is He? co-written by Belloc Lowndes. Its plot concerns the hunt for a Jack the Ripper-like serial killer in London.
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John Elmer Carson was a Canadian-born, American film actor. Carson often played the role of comedic friend in films of the 1940s and 1950s, including The Strawberry Blonde (1941) with James Cagney and Arsenic and Old Lace (1944) with Cary Grant. He also acted in dramas such as Mildred Pierce (1945), A Star is Born (1954), and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958). He worked for RKO and MGM, but most of his notable work was for Warner Bros.
Gene Raymond was an American film, television, and stage actor of the 1930s and 1940s. In addition to acting, Raymond was also a singer, composer, screenwriter, director, producer, and decorated military pilot.
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Norman Krasna was an American screenwriter, playwright, producer, and film director who penned screwball comedies centered on a case of mistaken identity. Krasna directed three films during a forty-year career in Hollywood. He garnered four Academy Award screenwriting nominations, winning once for 1943's Princess O'Rourke, which he also directed.
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The comedy of remarriage is a subgenre of American comedy films of the 1930s and 1940s. At the time, the Production Code, also known as the Hays Code, banned any explicit references to or attempts to justify adultery and illicit sex. The comedy of remarriage enabled filmmakers to evade this provision of the Code. The protagonists divorced, flirted with strangers without risking the wrath of censorship, and then got back together.
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Fools for Scandal is a 1938 screwball comedy film starring Carole Lombard and Fernand Gravet, featuring Ralph Bellamy, Allen Jenkins, Isabel Jeans, Marie Wilson and Marcia Ralston, and produced and directed by Mervyn LeRoy. It was written by Herbert Fields and Joseph Fields with additional dialogue by Irving Brecher, and uncredited contributions by others based on the unproduced 1936 play Return Engagement by Nancy Hamilton, James Shute and Rosemary Casey. The songs are by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart.
The Man With Blond Hair is a play by Norman Krasna based on a true story. Although Krasna became better known for comedy this was a drama; the writer later said that he "really wrote" the play "to win the Nobel Peace Prize". The play only ran for 7 performances on Broadway. This failure prompted him to return to comedy and Krasna wrote Dear Ruth his most popular hit.