Mildred Pierce - 1945
I Love You Again - 1940
I Love You Again - 1940 - Amnesia and returned memory dramatically changes Larry Wilson into George Carey in I Love You Again. Larry has spent eight years frustrating his young wife (Myrna Loy) because Wilson is a penny-pinching "stuffed shirt" despite being a respected pillar of the community of Habersville, Pennsylvania. Fed up with him, convinced everything he does is a vain pose to impress the town, she is done with Larry and they are in the last days of marriage before a divorce.
While on a trip at sea without her, Larry (William Powell) gets conked on the head, and George Carey (also, of course, William Powell) emerges from the cocoon of Larry Wilson. It turns out George Carey, con-artist, was who Larry Wilson, stuffed-shirt, was before getting conked on the head back in 1932. It may seem hard to keep straight, but ace comedy director W.S. Van Dyke makes it simple. He worked with Loy and Powell on many of their The Thin Man movies and the trio together are comedy experts, making the issue of double-identity and not being too sure what you've been doing for eight years just more tools in the screwball toolbox.
Awakened as if from a coma, con-man George has to ask what year it is and who is the current president, and then he trims his old-fashioned mustache. This has the interesting effect of transforming Powell,who looks more than a bit like Powell's later role of Clarence from the film Life With Father from 1947, which featured Powell as an 1890s dad, into the younger, sleeker, more familiar art-deco William Powell of the 1930s. Now in a fashionable suit of clothing and hair slicked back, George is ready to pick up his criminal activities where he left off eight years earlier.
George then enlists a small-time crook from the boat trip (Frank McHugh as 'Doc' Ryan) and they come up with a plan to return to Larry's town and fleece the place using Larry's sterling reputation and contacts. But then George gets a look at Larry's wife...
AMAZON: Mildred Pierce - The Criterion Collection - Blu-ray
Original Page March 2020