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Made for Each Other

(1939 b 93')

En: 6 Ed: 5

 

Newly weds struggle with a criticizing mother, economic difficulties, and a sick baby.

Attorney John Mason (James Stewart) returns from Boston married and asks his boss Judge Doolittle (Charles Coburn) for time off for a honeymoon. John takes Jane (Carole Lombard) to his mother Harriet (Lucile Watson), who is shocked but is invited to live with them. John and Jane board a ship for Europe, but Carter (Donald Briggs) tells John he has a case. John and Jane sadly watch the boat leave. Jane and housekeeper Annie prepare dinner for Doolittle, Carter, and Eunice Doolittle (Ruth Weston). John brings a bottle of wine, but it runs out. Annie quits and asks to be paid. Doolittle says that Carter is the new partner by Eunice's recommendation. John argues a case, and Jane becomes pregnant. Jane and John bring home a baby boy. Jane bathes him while Harriet gives advice. The new maid won't wash diapers, and Jane fires her. John comes back from a class reunion depressed. Jane urges him to ask Doolittle for a raise and partnership or quit. John goes in to talk with Doolittle, who says everyone must take a 25% cut. John comes home drunk at 2 a.m. Jane says it was her fault, crying, and they embrace.

Jane tells Lillie (Louise Beavers) she is the best housekeeper, but she has to let her go. On New Year's Eve John and Jane wait for Carter, and Jane is irritated by Harriet. John tells them to stop arguing and walks out. Jane goes out with him, and at a party he says marriage was a mistake. Jane goes home and comes back to tell John that the baby is sick. Dr. Healy (Harry Davenport) tells John that they need a serum. John goes to Doolittle, wakes him up, and says they need $5,000 for a plane. Pilots fear a storm, but Conway (Eddie Quillan) is single and takes the risk. Jane sees the baby is on oxygen and gets upset, but Dr. Healy calms her. Harriet tells Jane she is all right because she has someone, and Jane realizes that Harriet is lonely. Conway flies in a storm. Jane prays. Conway has to bail out and parachute, but he is found with the addressed package. Dr. Healy gives the serum, and John wishes Jane a happy new year. In the final scene John demands that Doolittle and his partners reform the firm. Jane comes in, and they all gape as the baby speaks.

This rather uneven comedy-drama explores the common problems of a young couple. The melodramatic delivery of a serum by plane was based on an experience of producer David O. Selznick. Such an event is dramatic in real life but seems contrived in a film. The nagging of the mother-in-law indicates why many young people don't want a parent living with them.

Copyright © 2001 by Sanderson Beck

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