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The trailer for this early MGM sound picture includes the enticing come-on "A motion picture that starts with the honeymoon!" True, the first scenes are of newlyweds Victor (Robert Montgomery) and Stella (Helen Hayes) dreamily strolling along the deck of a boat, blissfully in love. But the honeymoon's over when the husband informs his wife that their first night stateside will be spent at his mother's house - after all, they can't miss Thursday night dinner with his family, can they? Thus begins Stella's rude awakening to the fact that her husband's small-minded, overbearing family -- especially his manipulative, pathological mother (character actress Louise Closser Hale in one of her final roles) -- will be occupying lots of space in their marriage. Can audiences blame her when Victor's teenage nephew Jerry (John Beal) takes a keen interest in her unhappy situation? While not as sordid as some Pre-Code dramas, Another Language gives plenty of subversive jabs on the chin to the themes of familial piety, the institution of marriage, illicit love affairs and a woman's right to her own happiness. While more old-fashioned than many dramas of the time, it's still an interesting take on what lengths a new bride will go to avoiding being subsumed into her husband's identity.
By Violet LeVoit