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I Take This Woman

Overview

This soapy drama stars Hedy Lamarr as a would be model who meets a research doctor en route to the US from Europe. They meet when Dr. Spencer Tracy prevents her from taking a suicidal plunge from the upper decks of the ocean liner. It seems that Lamarr had been involved with married man Kent Taylor. When he reneged on his promise to divorce his wife Mona Barrie, she decided to end it all. Finding her extraordinarily beautiful, the doctor suggests she join him in his research. The two end up at a slum clinic and ...
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Overview

This soapy drama stars Hedy Lamarr as a would be model who meets a research doctor en route to the US from Europe. They meet when Dr. Spencer Tracy prevents her from taking a suicidal plunge from the upper decks of the ocean liner. It seems that Lamarr had been involved with married man Kent Taylor. When he reneged on his promise to divorce his wife Mona Barrie, she decided to end it all. Finding her extraordinarily beautiful, the doctor suggests she join him in his research. The two end up at a slum clinic and it doesn't take long for the doctor to fall completely in love with her. He convinces her to marry him and soon after the wedding, he exchanges life in the clinic for an upscale practice uptown. Servicing the rich is lucrative and soon he has provided his high maintenance wife with a luxurious life. Unfortunately for him, she appreciates his work and sacrifices not a whit, and as soon as she can attempts to respark a romance with Taylor whom she has never stopped loving. Fortunately for the doctor, Lamarr eventually comes to her senses and marital bliss ensues. This film had a troubled history with all of it due to Louis B. Mayer's obsession with making Lamarr the brightest star in the MGM galaxy. Originally the film was directed by Joseph von Sternberg, but he grew frustrated and tired by Mayer's constant interference and quit the film as did the next director, Frank Borzage. As a result an enormous amount of footage was discarded. Finally reliable W.S. Van Dyke was placed on the production and it was completed. Unfortunately, despite all that effort, the film bombed at the box office.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
I Take This Woman was often referred to as "I Re-Take This Woman," due to the fact that most of the film was entirely re-shot over the course of 18 months and 3 directors, thanks to the interference of Louis B. Mayer and his desire to make Hedy Lamarr the studio's biggest star. As might be concluded from that anecdote, Woman is a real patchwork job, totally lacking in cohesiveness and a firm vision of what it should be and playing like a mess, in spite of the stalwart efforts of final director W.S. Van Dyke to pull the whole thing together. What's really surprising is that such a huge effort was expended on what, in the best of circumstances, would have been nothing more than a standard issue melodrama. Woman is simply a bore, with a screenplay that, despite a few pungent Charles MacArthur lines, rarely rises above the mundane. Lamarr looks sensational, of course, and is beautifully costumed and coiffed -- but her performance is perfunctory and unconvincing. Co-star Spencer Tracy, understandably miffed that he was being ignored in favor of Lamarr, does better, but it's hardly one of his great performances. Veree Teasdale comes off best, largely because she gets the best lines, and the supporting cast is fine. But there's really not much point in seeing Woman -- unless one really likes to spot continuity errors, which the prolonged shoot and change of helmsmen created in abundance.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/15/2009
  • UPC: 883316205747
  • Original Release: 1940
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Presentation: B&W / Full Frame
  • Time: 1:38:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 55,842

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Spencer Tracy Karl Decker
Hedy Lamarr Georgi Gragore
Veree Teasdale Madame Marcesca
Kent Taylor Phil Mayberry
Laraine Day Linda Rodgers
Mona Barrie Sandra Mayberry
Jack Carson Joe
Paul Cavanagh Bill Rodgers
Louis Calhern Dr. Duveen
Frances Drake Lola Estermonte
Marjorie Main Gertie
George E. Stone Sid
Willie Best Sambo
Don Castle Ted Fenton
Dalies Frantz Joe Barnes
Reed Hadley Bob Hampton
Lowden Adams Butler
Polly Bailey
Leon Belasco Pancho
Charles D. Brown Lieutenant of Police
Bill Cartledge Newsboy
Jack Chefe Waiter
David Clyde Steward
Tom Collins Intern
Nell Craig Nurse on Boat
Jean de Briac Headwaiter
Rosina Galli
George Humbert
Edward Keane Dr. Harrison
Peggy Leon Georgi's Maid
Jimmie Lucas Taxi Driver
Matt McHugh
Esther Michelson People at Clinic
Natalie Moorhead Saleslady
Lee Phelps Policeman
Sid Saylor Taxi Driver
John Shelton
Charles Sherlock Steward
Florence Shirley Mrs. Bettincourt
Rafael Storm Raoul Cedro
Charles Trowbridge Dr. Morris
Gayne Whitman Dr. Phelps
Florence Wix Mrs. Winterhalter
Marie Blake
Dwight Frye
Technical Credits
Josef von Sternberg Director
W.S. Van Dyke Director
Adrian Costumes/Costume Designer
George Boemler Editor
Hugh Boswell Asst. Director
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Paul Groesse Art Director
Arthur Guttman Score Composer
Bernard Hyman Producer
Bronislau Kaper Score Composer
Charles MacArthur Original Story
James K. McGuinness Screenwriter
Harold Hal Rosson Cinematographer
Lawrence Weingarten Producer
Edwin B. Willis Set Decoration/Design
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