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It's a Wonderful World

(1939 b 86')

En: 6 Ed: 5


A detective is convicted of hiding his innocent client for a murder but escapes to find the killer with a poetess he meets in this odd-ball comedy.

Detective Guy Johnson (James Stewart) tells Cap Streeter (Guy Kibbee) he is getting $100 a week watching millionaire Willie Heyward (Ernest Truex), who just married Vivian Tarbel (Frances Drake). Guy finds Dolores Gonzales murdered with drunk Heyward holding the gun, and half-a-dime in her hand. Vivian and Al Mallon (Sidney Blackmer) hope to get Heyward's fortune. Guy tells Heyward he is being framed; but police Sergeant Fred Koretz (Nat Pendleton) and Lt. Miller (Edgar Kennedy) arrest both. Heyward is convicted and sentenced to death, and Guy gets a year in Sing Sing. Guy reads a clue and while handcuffed to Koretz jumps off the train into a river. Guy revives Koretz, finds Edwina Corday (Claudette Colbert), and takes her car. Guy sees a roadblock and picks up Edwina. She starts a fire, and her car burns up. They argue and pick apples. He handcuffs them to sleep, but in the morning she is free. Edwina says she is a poet. They ask a scout to hide them, and Guy puts on the uniform and glasses. At a ferry Guy leaves Edwina behind, but she gets across on a boat and tells the police that she eloped with Guy; their picture is taken with the unsuspecting Koretz and Miller. Captain Haggerty ridicules Koretz and Miller for their incompetence.

On the boat at night Guy says Edwina is pretty, but she calls him greedy. She goes ahead and gets Guy hired as an actor so he can follow his clue. Edwina tells Guy that she likes him, and he says she is the first woman he met who isn't dumb. Cap Streeter finds Guy, who explains he is there to catch the murderer working with Vivian; he is looking for her blackmailer with the half-a-dime. Edwina knocks out Cap so he won't report Guy. She tells Guy she killed him; but they find he is gone. Edwina bumps into Vivian. Koretz and Miller attend the play. Guy talks to Cap backstage. Cap looks for the blackmailer and is knocked out again. On stage Guy says that an actor was shot. Koretz and Miller revive Cap, who acts crazy. Guy tells pleading Edwina he is leaving and knocks her out. Guy learns where the suspects are but is arrested by Koretz and Miller. Guy tells them Vivian is there, and they can catch the murderer to no avail; but Edwina accuses Guy of murder to get them to go where the evidence is. At the cabin they find Al Mallon and Vivian. Edwina overcomes Vivian, and Mallon is arrested. Guy looks forward to his $100,000 reward and says Edwina is a wizard.

This uneven star comedy seems to be exploiting the screwball-comedy-adventure genre. Guy's low opinion of women is somewhat modified as he realizes Edwina is not just a clinging female but can be clever too. Police are satirized for their incompetence.

Copyright © 2001 by Sanderson Beck

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