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Call It a Day

(1937 b 90')

En: 6 Ed: 5

Based on a play by Dodie Smith, in one day an entire family flirts with romances, but they are not serious.
      On the first day of spring Dorothy Hilton (Frieda Inescort) has the maid Vera wake her husband Roger Hilton (Ian Hunter), who lets daughter Ann (Bonita Granville) use his bathroom. Catherine (Olivia de Havilland) gets upset when her mother won’t let her have the spare bedroom. At the grocer Dorothy bumps into Frank Haines (Roland Young). Muriel West (Alice Brady) calls Dorothy to go shopping and argues with her brother Frank. Dorothy stops in on Roger to discuss Catherine and the artist Paul Francis (Walter Woolf King). Catherine poses for Paul, who complains. His wife Ethel Francis (Peggy Wood) goes out to make tea. Catherine clings to Paul, who puts her off. Dorothy and Muriel see Beatrice Gwynn (Marcia Ralston) in a play. Ann comes to get money from Catherine, who changes while Paul gives Ann a sketch by Rossetti. Catherine comes back and asks to meet Paul at 9. Muriel takes Dorothy to Frank’s apartment. Roger tells Beatrice she must pay her tax, and she suspects that Roger’s secretary is in love with him. Beatrice invites Roger to visit her at 7:30. Frank comes in and sees Dorothy as Muriel leaves. Frank says that Dorothy is beautiful, and he loves her already; but she says she is married and is not Dolly. Yet Frank demands to see her and steals flowers for her.
      Martin Hilton (Peter Willes) finds his neighbor Joan Collett (Anita Louise) returning his dog, and she shows him her sporty car. She invites him to dinner and the theater. Ann asks Dorothy if she can go to the cinema, and Catherine says she is going out. Roger tells Dorothy that he has to go see Beatrice. Dorothy dines with Frank. While Roger works on taxes, Beatrice sings “Isn’t It Romantic?” and calls to have her understudy go on. Frank pulls off Dorothy’s wedding ring. Beatrice calls Roger into her bedroom, but he leads her out and says he is married with a family as Dorothy says the same to Frank. Sir Harold comes in, and Roger is glad to leave. Ann comes home but is in a trance over Rossetti. Catherine comes in crying. Frank gives Dorothy her ring back and realizes it is a lost cause. Roger brings flowers to Dorothy, who asks about Beatrice, causing a quarrel. Dorothy says she had an offer from Frank. Meanwhile Martin holds Joan next door. Ann tries to console Catherine, who says Paul never came. Roger tells Dorothy that Beatrice started it, but nothing happened. Dorothy says she sent Frank away. Roger is glad they told each other about their first offers in 22 years. In the final scene they retire to twin beds but hold hands.

This comedy suggests that spring energy impels people toward romance but cannot compel them to abandon their previous commitments.

Copyright © 2015 by Sanderson Beck

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