Favorite things about… Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941)

(Image via Jon Watches Movies)

The favorite film:
Mr. and Mrs. Smith, a screwball comedy from the Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock

The synopsis:
Ann and David Smith are a happily married couple living in New York City… but they have their share of fights. Fights that tend to last for up to eight days. Still, each time, they reconcile… until it comes to light that their marriage isn’t legal! Faced with this shocking truth, Ann and David must decide whether to marry again — not as easy a choice as you’d think, when Ann becomes angry with David and starts another of their infamous spats.

The cast:
Carole Lombard as Ann Krausheimer Smith
Robert Montgomery as David Smith
Gene Raymond as Jeff
Jack Carson as Chuck
Esther Dale as Mrs. Krausheimer
Philip Merivale as Mr. Custer
Lucile Watson as Mrs. Custer

Lombard, Hitch, and the gang on set! (Image via Carole and Co.)

Fun facts:

  • Cary Grant was originally wanted by both Carole Lombard and Hitchcock for the role of David Smith.
  • While some of Hitchcock’s more suspenseful flicks and television work contain elements of wit and humor, this film is a curiosity in the director’s filmography: his only traditional comedy film.
  • The film’s screenplay was written by Norman Krasna.
  • Alfred Hitchcock once said, according to TCM, that he directed the film as a favor to Carole Lombard.
  • Carole Lombard reportedly directed Hitchcock’s cameo in the film, requesting multiple takes.
  • After Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Carole Lombard would only complete one more film, To Be or Not to Be. In 1942, she passed away in a tragic airplane accident.

Favorite things/quotes:

  • The genuine mess of the Smiths’ room, after a three-day-long argument
  • David slamming the door shut, finally waking Ann up
  • The Smiths’ policy of not leaving the bedroom after an argument until it’s been resolved — even if it takes over a week!
  • David telling Ann he’d stay single if he could do it all over again
  • David: “I love you! I worship you! I’m used to you!”
  • Deaver visiting Ann, and Mrs. Krausheimer’s reaction to finding out Ann isn’t legally married
  • The gang of kids watching the Smiths eat, and the cat sitting at their table
  • David: “That cat KNOWS something.”
  • Carole’s possessed-looking face when she and David return home from what should have been their pre-wedding dinner (before throwing things at him and locking him out of the apartment!)
(Image via A Movie Scrapbook)
  • David: “What’s this?”
    Ann’s maid: “A chain, to keep people out!”
  • David climbing into Ann’s cab, and the snarky argument that follows
  • Ann: “I don’t want to marry you! I thought it all over and I’m not interested.”
  • David: “Why, you hillbilly ambulance chaser!”
  • Gloria saying they’ve gotta eat before going to a “dark, romantic” place! And her wrestling match with the “tough chicken.”
  • David pretending to talk to the woman next to him, and punching himself in the nose
  • Ann: “I don’t care who holds a knife to him, though I’d certainly like a chance myself.”
  • Stuck on a carnival ride in a rain storm!
  • Jeff’s explanation for why he doesn’t drink liquor
  • Jeff and his parents cramming into the tiny office bathroom to gossip about Ann and David
  • David: “You couldn’t have anything to do with that pile of southern fried chicken!”
  • Ann getting mad that Jeff won’t hit David
  • Ann: “Some time, some day, when your back is turned, I’ll stab you!”
  • …but despite all of that anger, they live happily ever after!

6 thoughts on “Favorite things about… Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941)

  1. I like this film very much as a Screwball comedy, but it just feels so odd to me that it is a part of Hitch’s filmography. I’ve never been much of a fan of Montgomery, but he is quite good here. Lombard is adorable in this.


  2. Haven’t seen this one in ages…but I do remember loving that restaurant scene! And how cool it would’ve been to have Cary Grant in that role…I’d never heard of that possibility before. Do you know why it didn’t happen?


    1. Simple scheduling issue! Smith was shot from September – November 1940. He had The Philadelphia Story which ended in August but was expected to take longer, and the Penny Serenade starting shooting in October.


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