It's a serious problem for a lady with the hiccups, and he is it!
A happily married woman sees a psychoanalyst and develops doubts about her husband.
A happily married woman sees a psychoanalyst and develops doubts about her husband.
Lo que piensan las mujeres
this is very all over the place, and in some ways that’s bad, but in others it’s kind of...good?
I went into this for merle oberon and melvyn douglas, but actually came out of it liking burgess meredith’s character the most, which is kind of bizarre because you can tell he’s written to be unlikable, but his nihilistic apathy that probably wouldn’t have been appealing when this was released is actually spot on millennial humor? I loved it.
the film is by no means perfect, but there are so many scenes where you can feel the Lubitsch Touch™ working its magic that you kind of have no other choice but to forget about the hiccups and give in to the madness.
Sure, this may not be Lubitsch’s best, but it’s still very charming and funny. The Lubitsch touch is certainly present in here, and the part where they’re trying to stage an argument but their “lines” are so stilted and Merle Oberon keeps forgetting hers had me dying. Melvyn Douglas is such an adept comedic leading man and I cannot wait to watch more of his filmography!
You know, looking at this (and even Madame Satan, as far back as 1929), it doesn't seem like "the problem without a name" was a big dark secret that nobody ever addressed until Betty Friedan wrote about it. Of course, I don't see these movies offering any solution more insightful than "... so deal with it, cuz that's all you get."
Psychoanalysis, modern art, an Oscar Levant knock-off to personify 'neurotic artist free-spirit' -- Lubitsch' humor shines through, but the substance of this feels kinda stale and post-code. Just enough to notice.
Part of my 5 Directors x 5 Unseen Films (12) challenge.
Based upon an 1880 French play entitled "Divorçons" by Victorien Sardou and Émile de Najac, this romantic comedy from director Ernst Lubitsch is somewhat reminiscent of Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew," including misogynistic elements. To start off, we learn that although New York newspapers are fond of labeling Jill and Larry Baker (Merle Oberon & Melvyn Douglas) the city's "happiest couple," there's a lot to be desired in their six-year marriage, including better communication.
On the advice of friends, Jill visits psychoanalyst Dr. Vengard (Alan Mowbray) with regard to her intermittent hiccups, and he pins the cause on her problematic marital relationship. Once he plants that seed of doubt, she…
"And the hiccups never came back"
The infamous Lubitsch touch seems a little out of touch for this mildly amusing but relatively innocuous entry in his CV, despite the best efforts of the three leads.
I find these movies both hilarious and frustrating. There's several laugh out loud moments, but then the overall situation is maddening.
A stunning Merle Oberon is married to insurance salesman Melvyn Douglas, though he is a very Park Avenue upscale insurance salesman. She starts to feel a bit bored and meets a musician, a very young Burgess Meredith. He introduces her to modern art and classical music. She has an affair with the pianist, her husband finds out and wants her back. He goes the round-about way of doing it. Like I said, funny situations, ridiculous actions.
Lubitsch certainly has a way of presenting adult situations with a wink. I like that. He doesn't rub your nose in it, but for those with eyes to see...
i really need to watch everything lubitsch directed!!!! he can make me laugh at some old school conventions unlike any other director. truly a master we don't talk enough about!
Regarded as a lesser Lubitsch, I liked this film better than I thought I would. The weakest link for me was Burgess Meredith. I don't really like him as an actor, and his character is so unlikeable and annoying that it makes the plot rather unbelievable. Can't imagine Oberon falling for such an unbearable guy, even if she would be bored out of her mind. I did enjoy the performances of Oberon and Douglas and their scenes together. But the whole film is a bit tame, and even Eve Arden didn't get to show her usual spunk.
love me some mid-divorce flirting and poorly staged fights
One thing is certain about That Uncertain Feeling: it doesn't feel anything like an Ernst Lubitsch production. You could have told me that some lesser studio hack directed it, and I'd have believed it. Melvyn Douglas was in some real stinkers after his great (and well-deserved) success in Ninotchka but before Hud gave him a major resurgence as a two-time Oscar-winning character actor - Our Wife, Two-Faced Woman and We Were Dancing immediately come to mind - and this Lubitsch rom-com is no exception. As in so many scripts from this era, a business-minded husband neglects his frustrated wife, she looks to another fellow for excitement and comfort, and the jealous husband does everything possible to make her feel bad enough to return. Ugh. Personally, if I were Merle Oberon, and I had to choose between boring Melvyn and eccentric, temperamental pianist Burgess Meredith, I'd choose Burgess every time because I love that cute little man.
If Melvyn Douglas had treated Merle Oberon like an equal partner instead of a trophy wife, this movie might never have happened.
A mind refresher after more than a dozen of films noir I've seen this November. I'm so relieved. I actually never knew about this title from Lubitsch's canon until now. Traditional and simple prototype of love triangle as the focal point of the story with a different divorce comedy take. Behold Melvyn Douglas and his empathetic acting chops here.
POV me getting hiccups when the lead character does: 😤😳🤭
POV hungarians drinking: 🥳 egészségére 🥳
POV hungarians eating: 🤩 goulash 🤩
The film’s a dud, but there are a couple of funny moments. It’s not really worth watching and apparently people felt the same way about it when it was released.
TOP DIRECTORS CHALLENGE: ERNST LUBITSCH
I am watching one film that I haven’t seen before from each of the 50 directors listed here.
at times i thought this movie might dip into something more progressive, but in the end it’s just an age-old story about a foolish wife whose husband is the one who knows best
The comedy is flimsier and the scenario less than ambitious for Lubitsch, but gets good run for a while out of the open contempt marriage generates among its participants. Meredith is a bit much, but Oberon and Douglas are fine. Would've bumped this an extra half-star at least if she hiccuped at the end.
Some plot points didn’t really age that well, it’s not something that will bring you much value 80 years since its premiere but Merle Oberon and Melvyn Douglas make it completely worth your time, plus it’s Lubitsch so the comedy couldn’t really go wrong.
SCAVENGER HUNT DAY 30: A movie Nathan has watched on his scavenger hunt
Enjoyed this movie a lot - it's sharp and quick-witted and sometimes downright goofy, but also has heart and explores marriage and infidelity with a surprising amount of tenderness and intricacy - the movie starts out with a clear moral message and a newly confident woman trying to escape a loveless marriage, but soon starts doubling back on itself, with each turn making the situation less clean cut. That Uncertain Feeling is a very fitting title, and it's in the uncertainty that this film finds both its most absurd jokes and also its most interesting bits of character study. A solid and satisfying end to this month of movies. Cheers Nathan!
Scavenger Hunt: Day 16 - Watch a screwball comedy
A woman looks lovingly into the camera because her soon-to-be ex-husband had to get drunk to hit her.
This feels like the place where I'd write "minor Lubitsch is still Lubitsch" but, no, this film isn't it. It's sandwiched between The Shop around the Corner and To Be or Not To Be, no less! Oberon wandering away from her husband to rejuvenate herself through art is in Lubitsch's wheelhouse, but ultimately this aims more for the American screwball, which isn't in Lube's vocabulary. In other, better Lubitsch films, whether his charmpieces or one-liner fests, there'd be a certain affection for Burgess Meredith's deliberately unlikeable self-serious/important character. Here it's absent, so he ends up being straight irritating instead, zagging and mugging about like Mickey Rooney, laying waste to whatever remnants of Lubitschland found its way into this film. Without the Hungarians, I likely could not have guessed who directed this film.
It seems I fall within the crowd on That Uncertain Feeling. 1. It’s not Ernst Lubitsch’s best. 2. Yet, there are still distinctly funny moments infused with The Lubitsch Touch that actually made me laugh aloud (something I really rarely do).
Underlying play with psychoanalysis, modern art, ennui all no doubt make it prime for critical analysis on any number or topics.
But most importantly, it’s just pretty fun.
Scavenger Hunt #65
29. Watch a comedy from the 1960s or earlier.
That Uncertain Feeling isn’t Lubitsch at his best, but still manages to be better than most romantic comedies. Melvyn Douglas is good, but Merle Oberon isn’t quite up there with other Lubitsch leading ladies. Slow to start, but picks up towards the end.
This has its moments, but overall it's a meandering movie in the subgenre of "remarriage comedies" (the philosopher Stanley Cavell's term). The psychoanalysis isn't really a factor in the movie (and wow, does it get it wrong) nor are the hysterical hiccups (we're sort of told about them, but don't really get to see them). There are some cheap shots at "modern art" (really surrealism), but that's fine.
The recurring comedy bit in the movie is Burgess Meredith saying "pfui." That's not much to hang onto. Others have referred to this as late Lubitsch. Sure, but there's later Lubitsch and it's brilliant. So, that's no excuse. By the way, the print on Amazon isn't all that good.
Who wrote this? Were they okay?
NeverTooEarlyMP 4,925 films
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!