vp19 (vp19) wrote in carole_and_co,

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Thoughts on the Blu-ray of 'Made For Each Other'

Carole Lombard's first dramatic foray in several years, 1939's "Made For Each Other" (she's shown alongside co-star James Stewart) and recently issued on Blu-ray for the first time, was reviewed several days ago at dvdtalk.com. Reviewer Stuart Galbraith provides some fascinating perspectives on the release.

First of all, Galbraith sets the record straight for those of you who have never seen the film. While it's often labeled a romantic comedy, and indeed there are some comedic elements, "Made For Each Other" is more accurately described as a drama with a few humorous moments.

Also note that Lombard is billed ahead of the up-and-coming Stewart; this was released in January 1939, when Carole had a bit more clout with audiences despite her recent misfire with "Fools For Scandal." Stewart had some successes in 1938 with "Vivacious Lady" and "You Can't Take It With You," but '39 would be his breakout year -- think "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington," "Destry Rides Again" and more.

Yet according to Galbraith, Lombard's character is a far stronger presence here than Stewart's: "'Made For Each Other' might have been insufferable had its script made [attorney] John [Mason] appear any weaker than he does in the story." (Carole and James play a young couple who marry soon after meeting, much to the dismay of his mother and his boss, whose daughter John was expected to marry.)

Adds Galbraith, "Stewart, not fully-formed yet as an actor, is fine, and his screen chemistry with Lombard is great, but it's her Jane that holds the picture together." (Jane Mason is the only Lombard character to marry and give birth during the course of a film.)

"Both project the kind of passion and deep devotion one associates with young marrieds, and her growing but repressed resentment toward him and his mother is entirely believable. Lombard, as always, is luminous ... uniquely beautiful, but in an approachable, identifiable way, and movie audiences could certainly relate to and empathize with their everyday problems, and are rooting for their eventual happiness."

That empathy comes in handy during the film's controversial third act, which veers perilously close to melodrama. (The Masons' young son needs a rare medicine to save his life while hospitalized, and it's delivered by a pilot who must fly through adverse conditions.)

Like several other Lombard films ("My Man Godfrey," "Swing High, Swing Low"), "Made For Each Other" fell into public domain, meaning reconstruction of the movie wasn't entirely successful. Galbraith says of this version, "this new release is a vast improvement over earlier home video releases [although the first reel is not in fine shape]. ... overall the results are very good." He has no complaints with the sound quality.

Extras include a trailer for the movie and audio commentary from film historian Lee Gambin.

The movie rates between 2 1/2 and 4 stars out of five in various categories, and is listed as "highly recommended." The complete review is found at https://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/73503/made-for-each-other/.


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