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In Name Only

(1939 b 94')

En: 6 Ed: 6

 

Based on a novel by Bessie Breuer, a man falls in love with a young widow, but his selfish wife resists giving him a divorce.

Alec Walker (Cary Grant) meets artist Julie Eden (Carole Lombard) fishing, and they picnic again with her daughter Ellen (Peggy Ann Garner). Julie's sister Laura Morton (Katharine Alexander) is divorced and bitter about men. Alec's father Richard Walker (Charles Coburn) worries about Alec; but Alec's wife Maida Walker (Kay Francis) forgives him for missing the party. Alec is not getting along with Maida. Alec discourages flirting Suzanne (Helen Vinson) by talking of divorce. Alec drives off the road, and Suzanne goes for help to Julie. Suzanne asks her to call Dr. Ned Gateson (Jonathan Hale) and flees the scene. Maida thanks Julie and asks about her. Alec says he was with Suzanne. He accuses Maida of never loving him, and she admits marrying him for position while her lover committed suicide. Alec tells Maida he will see Julie whenever he can, but Julie tells Alec it is over. Maida takes flowers to widow Julie and invites her to her garden party. Maida tells Ned about Alec seeing Julie, and he tells Alec's parents. They greet Julie coldly, and she leaves with Alec. He tells Julie he loves her and kisses her. Alec tells Maida he must have a divorce. Maida plans to go to Paris with his parents and admits defeat.

Alec finds Julie in New York and asks her to marry. She admits she loves him. Laura comes in and makes Alec leave. Julie sees Laura's loneliness and decides to marry Alec; Laura says she is leaving. Alec says good-bye to Maida and his parents, and Suzanne warns Maida. Alec shows Julie an empty house he bought. On a train Suzanne causes Julie to mistrust Alec. Maida and his parents surprise Alec on Christmas Eve. Laura tells disappointed Julie that she is getting married. Alec tells his parents that he loves Julie. Maida receives Julie and threatens to name her in a counter-suit if Alec files for divorce. Julie despairs and plans to leave. Alec goes out, gets drunk, and falls asleep by an open window. Julie is called and cares for sick Alec. Two days later weak Alec defends her from a man. Julie calls Dr. Gateson, who says that Alec has pneumonia. Dr. Muller (Maurice Moscovitch) tells Richard Walker that Alec needs to see Julie, and she must give him hope. Julie tells Alec she is not going away, and he must get well. Julie stops Maida from seeing Alec, and Alec's parents overhear the avaricious Maida. In the final scene Julie tells Alec that now their dreams are true.

This dramatic triangle contrasts a loveless marriage based on social status to a real friendship and romance that could lead to a happy marriage were it not for the obstacles of the ruthless wife.

Copyright © 2001 by Sanderson Beck

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