Category Archives: Reginald Owen

They Met in Bombay (1941)

rosalind russell clark gable they met in bombay
Rosalind Russell and Clark Gable in They Met in Bombay (1941)

 

 

 

 

 

When I think of the action/adventure/romantic film They Met in Bombay, besides the beautiful Adrian costumes that Rosalind Russell wears, I think of a story that occurred during the shooting. One morning while driving to work, Roz, who thought she was a most competent driver but really wasn’t, once again got herself into trouble for reckless driving.

rosalind russell clark gable they met in bombay
Rosalind Russell and Clark Gable in They Met in Bombay (1941)

This time, she was taking her usual route, but drove smack into a tree. While most of the damage was sustained by her car, Roz left the scene with big, fat lip. She still had to film that day, so they filmed wide shots of the scene where her character Anya runs from her car up to the gate to talk to Clark Gable’s Gerald Meldrick. Every time I see that scene, I think… I wonder if any of these shots include her fat lip… from a distance? And I have come across more than one newspaper snippet involving Roz in an accident for her crazy driving. It’s just who Roz was and we love her for it anyway.

clark gable rosalind russell they met in bombay
Clark Gable and Rosalind Russell in They Met in Bombay (1941)

They Met in Bombay, although chock full of cute romantic kisses that make me go all jelly inside and full of absolutely stunning Adrian gowns, is certainly not one of my favorites. This is partly due to my distaste for action/adventure films. I have never been a fan of them and for me to really love them, they have to be damn good.

clark gable rosalind russell they met in bombay
Clark Gable and Rosalind Russell in They Met in Bombay (1941)

We all have different tastes and my tastes tend to favor comedies, sometimes tearjerkers, sometimes musicals, but action films and westerns are not my thing. So for these reasons, I prefer the first half of the film to the second half.

Clark Gable plays a jewel thief named Gerald Meldrick. For his next great caper, he plans to steal the coveted Star of Asia, which is owned by the Duchess of Beltravers. She plans on attending the ball being held in Bombay in order to make his plan happen.

clark gable rosalind russell they met in bombay
Clark Gable and Rosalind Russell in They Met in Bombay (1941)

When he arrives at the hotel, he poses as a detective in charge of taking care of the Duchess’s jewels, even handing management a letter confirming it. They decide to trust him and he eyes the safe where the jewels are kept. In the lobby, he gazes upon a beautiful woman strolling to the front desk, her head held high as if she knows exactly what she wants. He wants to meet her and get to know her.

rosalind russell they met in bombay
Rosalind Russell in They Met in Bombay (1941)

Her name is Anya von Duren (Rosalind Russell). She is said to be a baroness, but it is revealed to the audience she is a fake because she is reading up on the Duchess and the other royal family members so it looks like she knows her stuff. When two men of the hotel staff help her pick out a table for the ball, it is very funny.

clark gable rosalind russell they met in bombay
Clark Gable and Rosalind Russell in They Met in Bombay (1941)

When they choose a table near the music, she says, “It’s much too close to the music.” They pick one farther away and she says, “It’s much too far away from the music.” They pick one in the middle and she says, “This is at once too close and too far away from the music.”

eduardo ciannelli rosalind russell they met in bombay
Eduardo Ciannelli and Rosalind Russell in They Met in Bombay (1941)

But when she points out the table next to the duchess, she thinks this is an ideal choice! As the men leave, they utter, “Women!” Inside her room, Anya says, “Men!”

The next day, Gerald wants to quickly get a shave in the hotel barbershop, which is right next to the “ladies’ salon,” only separated by a paper partition that can be taken down.

rosalind russell jessie ralph clark gable they met in bombay
Rosalind Russell, Jessie Ralph, and Clark Gable in They Met in Bombay (1941)

At first, he wants to be out of there as quickly as possible, but then he spots Anya right across from him in the “salon.” He smiles wide and decides to get the works—shampoo, manicure, pedicure—just so he can stare at her. Anya is not pleased to be stared at and is frustrated when the partition falls down and can’t be put back up.

clark gable rosalind russell they met in bombay
Clark Gable and Rosalind Russell in They Met in Bombay (1941)

Later, when she strolls over to the elevator, he notices her, having waited for her. She looks a bit confused and he gets on the elevator with her, offering his services so she can get where she’s going. He slyly bumps into the emergency stop button so they are delayed. She is visibly annoyed and he goes on talking to her, pouring on all the charm he can. Most of his pick-up lines are corny to the extreme and Anya is aware of this. Her eye rolls and general disdain for him are comical.

jessie ralph rosalind russell they met in bombay
Jessie Ralph and Rosalind Russell in They Met in Bombay (1941)

When he mentions that he’s a detective, this peaks her interest. Just as the elevator starts up again, he remarks, “Whenever I look at you, I get the strangest feeling that I’m suddenly shooting up toward heaven.” When she invites him into her room for a drink, she asks him questions about being a detective, feigning innocence and naïveté about crooks and the art of stealing. However, he knows she’s up to something because when she left the room, he notices that she had been reading up on the duchess and her family.

rosalind russell clark gable they met in bombay
Rosalind Russell and Clark Gable in They Met in Bombay (1941)

That night at the ball, Gerald comes over to Anya’s table, which horrifies her. She doesn’t want him around as she starts up her plan to steal the Duchess’s jewels. She asks him to leave, and then pretends that her “guests” didn’t arrive and acts like she’s embarrassed about it. She passes the duchess’s table, getting a careful look at her. The Duchess of Beltravers (Jessie Ralph) takes a good look at Anya and immediately wants her to sit at the table with her.

rosalind russell clark gable they met in bombay
Rosalind Russell and Clark Gable in They Met in Bombay (1941)

As they converse, Gerald listens intently to Anya speaking in a very rehearsed manner about the Duchess’s family. Anya, knowing about the Duchess’s history with alcohol, liquors her up and helps her to her hotel room. When the duchess passes out, Anya slowly and carefully slips the Star of Asia off her neck, drops it into top of her own dress, and steals out of the room, turning off the lights. Gerald emerges from one of the Duchess’s rooms, carefully places the fake necklace on the Duchess, and goes after Anya.

rosalind russell clark gable they met in bombay
Rosalind Russell and Clark Gable in They Met in Bombay (1941)

He demands the necklace when he arrives in her room. She feels she’s been licked and lets him take it. She is surprised, however, when he doesn’t arrest her. He responds, “How can a man put handcuffs on moonlight?” When he walks down the hall, she looks after him, saying pathetically, “Thank you, thank you, thank you!” But just when it looks like Gerald has succeeded, Anya sees two of the hotel staff walk over with the “Star of Asia.” As she looks at the fake necklace, she realizes what Gerald just did to her. That involuntary eyebrow raise occurs!

clark gable rosalind russell they met in bombay
Clark Gable and Rosalind Russell in They Met in Bombay (1941)

The next morning, Gerald inquires about Anya at the front desk, but is told she already checked out. When he exits the hotel and is about to get into a cab, he sees Anya already sitting inside it, smiling at him. It isn’t long before she lets him know that she knows he’s a thief, too.

rosalind russell they met in bombay
Rosalind Russell in They Met in Bombay (1941)

She demands to have her “property” back (the jewel), but he informs her that he should keep it for being more clever than her. When he calls her an amateur, she snaps, “I’m just as good a thief as you are!” But before they know it, in spite of what Gerald calls his cleverness, the cops are on to them. What follows is a chaotic, rather thrilling car chase, each car swerving back and forth like lunatics. They do escape the authorities and end up in a boat until they see a big ship about to leave.

clark gable rosalind russell they met in bombay
Clark Gable and Rosalind Russell in They Met in Bombay (1941)

They ask the captain where he is going and he says Hong Kong. Anya is not pleased with having to go to a faraway place like Hong Kong, but she has no choice. They promise to pay him for giving them passage on his ship. Gerald makes up a story about running away with Anya to get married. She is already married, according to him, and they are escaping her husband. At first, she cries out “How dare you!” but she decides to go along with this cover. Anya also squawks about having to share a room with Gerald.

clark gable rosalind russell they met in bombay
Clark Gable and Rosalind Russell in They Met in Bombay (1941)

After all, she hardly knows him. Gerald tells the captain (played by Peter Lorre in one of those gross caricatures of the typical Asian character of films at the time) that it wouldn’t be appropriate for them to be in the same room, so Gerald gets a small bunk somewhere else.

rosalind russell they met in bombay
Rosalind Russell in They Met in Bombay (1941)

He gives their names as Gibbons and Hobbs and when he gets a chance to talk to Anya, he can see that icy veneer she had about her starting to break. Also, for the first time, she lets her hair down (literally). Rosalind Russell’s gorgeous, dark locks had been up for the majority of the picture up to this point.

clark gable rosalind russell they met in bombay
Clark Gable and Rosalind Russell in They Met in Bombay (1941)

From here on out, she keeps it down. She has shiny, thick hair that I for one would just die for!

After Anya starts to warm up to Gerald, she tells him a bit about her life—how her father was a criminal and she basically followed in his footsteps. Gerald, on the other hand, started doing underhanded things (being a card shark and the like) after a broken heart.

rosalind russell they met in bombay
Rosalind Russell in They Met in Bombay (1941)

Now he’s a champion burglar and he is in good  company. The next day, Gerald starts to get suspicious of the captain’s intentions. And for good reason. The captain is in cahoots with Inspector Cressney (played by , he almost caught Anya and Gerald back in Bombay) and plans on handing the two thieves over to him when they dock. Gerald suggests they escape before anything happens and right at this moment, they kiss for the first time.

clark gable rosalind russell they met in bombay
Clark Gable and Rosalind Russell in They Met in Bombay (1941)

Although Rosalind Russell did not enjoy doing romantic scenes, she did single out Clark Gable. She said something along the lines of “He knew exactly what to do. He knew where to put his feet” and he made his leading lady feel comfortable. Although I can’t imagine Roz and Clark being friends off the set… they just seem so different… I think they have fairly good chemistry in this film, at least in those kisses. They use one of the little emergency boats on ship and climb down into it on the water. Then they row away to freedom.

rosalind russell they met in bombay
Rosalind Russell in They Met in Bombay (1941)

The couple live for a few months together in Hong Kong in a little underground room. Anyone watching this can tell Anya has really started to fall for Gerald and loves the idea of settling down with him and living a normal life. She doesn’t want to hop from town to town anymore and when she hints at this, Gerald doesn’t like it. She gets embarrassed and tells him she just got a little “goofy,” but she is visibly disappointed. They keep the Star of Asia, which they nickname “Baby,” inside a wax candle.

rosalind russell clark gable they met in bombay
Rosalind Russell and Clark Gable in They Met in Bombay (1941)

Gerald, who has become restless staying in one spot, gets an idea. He takes the identity of Captain Houston, a soldier, and gets a uniform fitted. He plans on using this to get out of Hong Kong. However, when he is spotted in the uniform, he is ordered to support Her Majesty’s Land Forces.

rosalind russell they met in bombay
Rosalind Russell in They Met in Bombay (1941)

All men in uniform are  being rounded up. Anya poses as Mrs. Houston and they try to devise a plan to get him out of there.

Just as they almost have him out, he is needed to evacuate some Chinese people, but the Japanese who have invaded won’t allow it.

Rosalind Russell and Clark Gable in They Met in Bombay (1941)
Rosalind Russell and Clark Gable in They Met in Bombay (1941)

What follows is the warfare sequence—with gunfire galore and the derogatory term “Japs” being thrown around, it is not my favorite part. I lose interest at this point also because Roz seems to mysteriously disappear. After the gunfire ends, Gerald is shot in the shoulder and must recuperate in the hospital.

rosalind russell they met in bombay
Rosalind Russell in They Met in Bombay (1941)

Anya visits him every day and fell even more in love with him after seeing him in uniform. She is not as interested in being a criminal anymore. Gerald then receives the Victoria Cross, the highest honor, which Anya arranges. Unfortunately, Gerald does not want to be seen by all those people and to top it all off—to be filmed! Begrudgingly, he attends the ceremony and receives the Cross. He is met by Inspector Cressney and learns that Anya told the inspector that Gerald was posing as Captain Houston. He is angry at this, but as they walk outside, he orders some soldiers passing by to arrest Inspector Cressney on the spot. Later, an angry Cressney is outraged at what happened to him and at the fact that Anya and Gerald slipped through his fingers again.

rosalind russell they met in bombay
Rosalind Russell in They Met in Bombay (1941)

But suddenly, Anya and Gerald show up at his office, handing over the Star of Asia. Anya tells him to book them as “Mr. and Mrs. Meldrick” because they will soon be married. I have never been a fan of this ending because although it is justice for them to be caught in the end, why does Anya act so happy about it? It’s not as if they will spend their life together in jail. But well, reality isn’t always an essential part of 1940s films.

IMDB page for They Met in Bombay

TCM overview of the film

Fast and Loose (1939)

rosalind russell fast and loose
Rosalind Russell in Fast and Loose (1939)

A wave of loud, unrestrained laughter crashes through the conversation. The tall, slim young woman possessing black curls and sparkling dark eyes leans back in her chair against the door behind her. She continues to laugh and the man and woman in the other room go silent. The blonde woman asks, “Who’s that?” The dark-haired man, dressed in a silk robe, replies as he gets up, “That’s my wife. She’s delirious.” Who are the people in this scene? Why, it’s none other than Rosalind Russell, Robert Montgomery, and Joan Marsh playing the characters of Garda, Joel, and Bobby in a scene from Fast and Loose (1939). This is only one of many comical exchanges between Rosalind Russell’s and Robert Montgomery’s characters in this comedy, the last time they were paired together.

rosalind russell robert montgomery fast and loose
Rosalind Russell and Robert Montgomery in Fast and Loose (1939)

I think of it as being the end of an era because although when people think of classic film couples, they do not think “Robert Montgomery and Rosalind Russell,” they are a fun, free-wheeling film couple that are always a joy to watch onscreen. Fast and Loose is filled with cute little romantic gestures and actions between the two stars with plenty of whimsical lines to entertain the audience with. It’s something to watch when you want to forget your worries for a little less than an hour and a half and lose yourself in the world of the goofy Robert Montgomery-Rosalind Russell team.

When the film opens, we (the audience) see a sign on an apartment door that reads “Milkman please leave one quart of aspirin tablets” and as the camera pans inside the apartment, there is another note tacked onto the telephone, which reads “Dear Telephone: One peep out of you and we will cancel all agreements.” The only thing we can gather from this is that the people living here are sleeping and refuse to be disturbed. Unfortunately, the telephone pays no attention to their threatening note and starts to ring.

rosalind russell robert montgomery fast and loose
Rosalind Russell and Robert Montgomery in Fast and Loose (1939)

In the bedroom, clothes are strewn all over the floor and sleeping in twin beds (as was the custom of films, especially comedies, of the day) are a married man and woman named Joel and Garda. It doesn’t take long for Garda to be shaken awake by the sound of the telephone’s racket. She repeatedly calls out to Joel, but he doesn’t wake up. She feels on the ground for a walking stick and pokes Joel in the side, informing him that the telephone is ringing. He retorts, “Well, what did you expect it to do, sing?” She makes a face at him and says, “I do all the work around here while you lie in—“ She pauses to answer the telephone. “Hello?” They find out that it’s Mr. Oates (Etienne Girardot), an extremely absent-minded rich old man who wants to talk business with Joel. Joel is a rare book dealer and Garda also works with him. This opening gives us a glimpse into what kind of a relationship they share—wisecracks before they’re fully awake? Oh, yes!

 

rosalind russell robert montgomery fast and loose
Rosalind Russell and Robert Montgomery in Fast and Loose (1939)

As they get up to get ready to go to the office, they stand up a little wobbly because they had a huge party last night. Joel asks, “What’d we have to eat last night, fried carpets?” And Garda says shakily, “I feel like I swallowed a jam session—jitterbugs and all.” When they arrive at the office, they walk straight through the door at the same time, but there isn’t enough room for both of them. Garda shoots him a dirty look and he lets her go first. Although his primary occupation is rare book dealer, Joel sometimes plays detective when the books in question get stolen, as they sometimes do. Garda hates it when this happens because he always gets into trouble. When Mr. Oates arrives, and he’s a delightful character, he calls Garda “Joel” and to prove to him that she’s Mrs. Sloane, she lifts her skirt a tiny bit and says, “Look!” He looks down and replies, “Oh, so you are, so you are!” As soon as he sits down, they all stare at each other in silence, and the scatterbrained old man says, “Well, what did you want?” even though he was the one who called them.

robert montgomery rosalind russell fast and loose
Robert Montgomery and Rosalind Russell in Fast and Loose (1939)

When he gets his mind on things, he informs them that Mr. Nicholas Torrent has a very rare Shakespeare manuscript and intends to sell it because he’s having financial difficulties. Oates wants to buy the manuscript and would like to use Joel’s services to do so. One of the running gags in this movie is Mr. Oates losing his train of thought and relying on Joel or Garda to finish his sentences for him. An example: Oates says, “Leave no stone, uh… no stone…” Garda finishes for him: “Unturned.”

robert montgomery rosalind russell fast and loose
Robert Montgomery and Rosalind Russell in Fast and Loose (1939)

Joel and Garda are excited to have a new client because they are having money troubles themselves. As they discuss telephoning an old buddy of his, Phil Sergeant (Anthony Allan), to get an invitation to the Torrent house, Garda sits on his lap. It is adorable when they do these cute little things and one of the reasons why I love this movie. For me, it’s not so much the plot, but the wonderful relationship between Joel and Garda. Joel decides to visit his friend, Dave Hilliard (Alan Dinehart), who is the Torrents’ lawyer. As he lays his head on a pillow on Garda’s lap, she ties a tiny little ribbon in his hair without his knowledge. He leaves and before he does, they “kiss” at each other, which is another thing they continuously do throughout the movie.

robert montgomery rosalind russell fast and loose
Robert Montgomery and Rosalind Russell in Fast and Loose (1939)

When Joel arrives at Dave’s office and takes off his hat, Dave can’t stop laughing at the little bow in his hair (and neither can I!). Joel says, “Oh, one of my wife’s little tricks. Cute, isn’t she?” Dave agrees to get Joel an invitation to the Torrent home if he will do a little searching for him because he thinks there are underhanded goings-on over there. Joel and Garda stay at the Torrent house as guests and as soon as they get there, Joel goes off to discuss business, immediately leaving Garda out (as usual). Vincent Charlton (Reginald Owen, who also had a role in Trouble for Two, also starring Robert Montgomery and Rosalind Russell) is also there. He is the Torrents’ broker and is a close friend of the family. More members of the family come down and Joel meets them: Christina, Torrent’s daughter (Jo Ann Sayers) and Gerald, Torrent’s son (Tom Collins). That night at dinner, Vincent has joined them and directs this at Joel: “Mr. Sloane, your face has been bother me all through dinner.”

robert montgomery rosalind russell fast and loose
Robert Montgomery and Rosalind Russell in Fast and Loose (1939)

Garda can’t help but interject: “Think of me, living with it for two years, Mr. Charlton!” Later that night as Garda and Joel get ready for bed, they look out the window and discover that Christina and their pal, Phil Sergeant, are a couple and seem to be very much in love. They separate before going inside so nobody thinks they were out there together. Garda smiles and says, “Aw, I think that’s cute. Remember when we used to do things like that to fool my family?” Joel comes back with the eye-rolling reply: “Don’t be ridiculous. Your family practically threw you at my head!” which causes Garda to almost choke on the water she’s drinking. They soon hear a crash downstairs and as Joel runs down to investigate it, Garda sighs and starts blowing air into a circular pool floatie, the same type that Joel had to sit on the last time he went investigating after being shot in the backside.

rosalind russell robert montgomery fast and loose
Rosalind Russell and Robert Montgomery in Fast and Loose (1939)

There seems to have been an altercation between Wilkes (Ian Wolfe), the man who takes care of the Torrent library, and Charlton downstairs. When Joel returns to his bedroom, he lies down in his bed and immediately jumps up, giving his wife a dirty look as he tosses the pool floatie he found in his bed. He then listens to an argument in Gerald’s bedroom, which ends with Torrent (Ralph Morgan) slapping his son’s face.

The next morning, Joel leaves the house before Garda wakes up to check up on a tough girl named Bobby, whom he learns is having some kind of romantic relationship with Gerald. In order to get into Bobby’s room, he pretends to be Gerald Torrent. Not long after he is allowed in to talk to her, police come in and arrest them both. Torrent has been murdered back at the house and Joel was gone around the time it happened. Eventually, they are let go, but the police bring Joel back to the house, handcuffed to Bobby, which leaves Garda suspicious, naturally.

rosalind russell fast and loose
Rosalind Russell in Fast and Loose (1939)

She immediately takes him by the hand and leads him into their bedroom, where she slams the door angrily. She glares at him and starts yelling at him, as any wife would after her husband came home suspiciously handcuffed to another woman. He tries to explain himself, but she only says, “Sure you did… ‘suga’!” which is an imitation of what Bobby had said a few minutes ago. He insists that he was only there to get more information on her for the case. She gives in and puts her arms around him, smiling. When someone knocks on the door, Garda calls out, “Go away!” Joel says, “Nobody home!” And Garda ends with “Come back later!”

 

robert montgomery rosalind russell on the set fast and loose
Robert Montgomery and Rosalind Russell between takes on the set of Fast and Loose (1939)

As people start coming in and out of their bedroom to talk to Joel, Garda simply remarks that she’s “so used to excitement, I could go right on sleeping if a Cavalry regiment rode into the room.” During another one of these interviews, Joel doesn’t want Garda in the room. It is a bit reminiscent of The Thin Man movies where the iconic Nick Charles would try his best to get his wife, Nora Charles, out of the room when he’s doing his “detective stuff.” Joel says to Garda, “You got to go and see about the car.” Garda says, “I guess so. What car?” He replies, “Any car.” Barely a minute has passed before Garda is back, declaring, “I’ve seen about the car!” Annoyed, Joel says, “What car?”

robert montgomery rosalind russell fast and loose
Robert Montgomery and Rosalind Russell in Fast and Loose (1939)

Knowing a man named Nolan (Sidney Blackmer), who is also involved with Bobby, may be a suspect, he decides to ask Garda out to his place called Nolan’s. He playfully twirls his finger in her hair, leaving it a big mess, which is both cute and rather funny. Once they are there, Nolan has a couple of his men kidnap Garda and keep her in another room while he talks to Joel. Before he can do anything, however, Joel grabs Nolan’s gun and says matter-of-factly, “Now I’ll tell you what you’re going to do. You’re going to call up and instruct those men to let my wife go. She’s to phone me from outside. I don’t want to sound melodramatic, Mr. Nolan, but to save my wife any discomfort, I would cheerfully kill a dozen guys like you.” Cue the “awwww” from all the ladies in the audience!

robert montgomery rosalind russell fast and loose
Robert Montgomery and Rosalind Russell in Fast and Loose (1939)

As Joel drives Garda home, she starts making up outrageous stories about how the men tortured her by lighting matches to her feet and so on. Suddenly, a man driving a car next to them runs them off the road and they crash into a bed of hay. Feeling delirious, Garda smiles and says, “This must be heaven.” When Joel intends to call for a cab, she says, “Awww, and leave all this swell hay?” When they get back to the house, they both have black eyes and are alleviating them with raw steaks. Garda becomes very hungry and wants to cook the steak, but it is late. When she hilariously tries to light a match to the steak in order to cook it and it doesn’t work, she pouts. Soon, Garda is found downstairs hiding something behind her back. The inspector who has been hired for the case, Forbes (Donald Douglas), demands to know what she is hiding. She slowly pulls out a chicken leg, telling him, “It’s a chicken leg… I was hungry.”

rosalind russell fast and loose
Rosalind Russell in Fast and Loose (1939)

Joel reaches back as if to hit her. She makes a face at him and swings the suit of armor’s arm in front of her. Suddenly, the piece of armor falls off, revealing a real arm underneath it. She screams and they find out there has been another murder—it is Wilkes’ body in the suit.

Even though Garda has warned Joel not to see that Bobby girl again, he does and after he has a talk with her, she playfully sprays him with her perfume in order to make his wife jealous. When he comes back to the house, he knows he will be in big trouble. He walks around the room in circles, constantly backing away from Garda in order to avoid her.

rosalind russell fast and loose
Rosalind Russell in Fast and Loose (1939)

She wants to kiss him because she missed him, but he keeps backing away. Eventually, he finds himself backed up against the door and as she puts her arms around him, she smells the perfume and glares at him, calling him an “unspeakable toad.” However, the inspector suddenly calls for him and he is saved from his wife’s wrath.

A man named Stockton (so many characters to try to keep up with!) has a Shakespeare manuscript that has been sold to him, but he is not sure who it was. There is the confusion over who has the genuine manuscript and who has the fake. Joel, who can tell these things right away, is called in to do this, finding a fake planted in Gerald’s room.

robert montgomery rosalind russell fast and loose
Robert Montgomery and Rosalind Russell in Fast and Loose (1939)

Another situation calls for him to leave Garda at home, not wanting her in any trouble. He asks Oates to keep an eye on her for him. They sit in silence and Garda looks at Oates. She suggests that they play ventriloquist and pats her lap. He looks at her, confused, saying, “Huh?” She replies, “Skip it, Charlie.” The next day, Joel insists on talking to Bobby again, but Garda sits in the other room, listening to them, which is where the “my wife is delirious” line comes in. Joel feels like he’s so close to figuring it out, but he’s not.

rosalind russell fast and loose
Rosalind Russell in Fast and Loose (1939)

Just when it seems like all hope is lost, Charlton comes into Joel’s office, hugging the fake manuscript tightly to his chest. Joel is suspicious of the way he is handling it and discovers he has the real one and was the one who committed the murders. They get into a violent scuffle and Joel tosses his gun to Garda just in case. Watch her brilliant reaction to watching their fight: the way her eyes widen so comically and she makes those faces she would soon become famous for. In order to save Joel from getting hurt, she tries to shoot Charlton, but accidentally shoots Joel instead—yes, in the backside again!

IMDb page for Fast and Loose

TCM overview of the film

Trailer: