It’s Love Again (1936)

Elaine Bradford (Jessie Matthews) is a talented young singer and dancer who is hoping her big break on the stage will come soon.

Elaine meets Peter Carlton (Robert Young), a gossip columnist who is also struggling in the work realm. He’s got a deadline to meet, and nothing at all written.

Peter has invented a woman to write gossip about — “Mrs. Smythe-Smythe,” a globetrotting lass whose life is full of adventure. She jumps out of airplanes, carries on romantic affairs, hunts in exotic locations.

Robert Young, Jessie, and Sonnie Hale for It's Love Again (Image via Movie Ramble)

Robert Young, Jessie, and Sonnie Hale for It’s Love Again (Image via Movie Ramble)

Elaine teams up with Peter. He agrees to let her impersonate Mrs. Smythe-Smythe in hopes that all of the hype and publicity will help her launch her career.

Victor Saville directs 1936’s It’s Love Again, a British musical-comedy. This film marked the fifth and final collaboration between Victor Saville and Jessie Matthews.

Last month, I reviewed another Jessie Matthews filmFirst a Girl, which I loved. As I mentioned in that review, I’ve been trying to stagger my viewings of her films. She was a wonderful actress, and I don’t want to run out of films from her to discover!

But I couldn’t pass this one up when I discovered that it was available for streaming on Amazon Prime. I signed up for the trial just to use the free two-day shipping on my textbooks, and had no intention of keeping Prime past the 30-day period… so time was of the essence in tearing through their classic film offerings!

Just like the two previous Matthews films I’ve watched, It’s Love Again does not disappoint.

Some viewers may criticize this film for being more of the same from Jessie. It’s another musical-comedy that revolves around her attempts to make it in show biz. I will admit that her filmography is a bit repetitious in terms of general premise.

(Image via Wikimedia Commons)

(Image via Wikimedia Commons)

But repetition isn’t always a bad thing, and in the case of Jessie’s films, it works. The films are different enough to feel distinct, rather than feeling like carbon copies of one another. For instance, First a Girl also dealt with a sort of mistaken-identity plot… but It’s Love Again is different because it deals with a fabricated “real” woman rather than a stage character. Like Edward G. Robinson’s gangster pictures or Carole Lombard’s screwball comedies, if you like one, you’ll like most of ’em — perhaps even all.

It goes without saying that Jessie’s performance and the musical numbers are top-notch. Additionally, the supporting performances are great. Robert Young is well-selected as the leading man. Sonnie Hale gives a solid performance and is pretty funny as Freddie, Peter Carlton’s sidekick.

As expected, It’s Love Again is a very fun film. The story is light, the mood is bright, and the music is a delight. This one’s full of charm.  The score: 4/5

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  1. Pingback: Jessie Matthews: A tribute | the motion pictures

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