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I Love You Again

I Love You Again(1940)

Remind Me

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You know you're in a screwball comedy when William Powell starts things off by ordering a ginger-ale-with-grape-juice. William Powell?? Is he out of his mind?? Well, yes, as it turns out. Soon enough, Powell gets knocked on the head; when he comes to, he doesn't remember anything of the past nine years. Turns out he'd had amnesia during those years due to a previous bonk on the head, and only now has his true identity - a slick, heavy-drinking con artist - returned. The problem is that he has to wing it as he learns that in his alternate existence he was an irritatingly prim, teetotaling dullard, running for the chamber of commerce on a temperance platform, and married to a knockout (Myrna Loy) who has been fighting to get a divorce because she finds him boring.

Of course, when Powell gets his (new) first look at Loy, he falls head over heels and fights to win her back again. We know where things will end up, but it's fun to watch Loy repel his advances so heartily before she is won over by his playful sophistication. "Can you imagine?" Powell says to his sidekick Frank McHugh, "I meet a girl, and in 20 minutes, she's gonna divorce me!"

Powell and Loy co-starred in 13 films, six of them Thin Man movies. Five of the other seven are in Warner Home Video's new Myrna Loy and William Powell Collection, including Manhattan Melodrama (1934), Evelyn Prentice (1934), Double Wedding (1937), I Love You Again (1940) and Love Crazy (1941). I Love You Again is perhaps the best of the bunch. It's a fizzy concoction, best watched with a martini or glass of champagne in hand. The clever plotting and dialogue keep things moving, and the picture never runs out of steam through its 99 minutes.

Given Powell's screen persona, it's especially amusing to see him "force" himself to drink when he's pretending to still be the teetotaler. "The doctor said that I should have a drink every 15 minutes," he explains, never bothering to add that his "doctor" is in fact his accomplice Frank McHugh, with whom he plans to fleece the town's jet-set out of untold thousands. At one point someone calls McHugh a "wisecracking stooge," a very accurate description!

Also in the cast are lovable character actors like Charles Halton, Charles Lane and Carl Switzer, best known as "Alfalfa" from Our Gang. Also look for Robert Blake (another Our Gang member) as a 7-year-old scene-stealer named Edward Littlejohn, Jr.

And for those classic movie fans who always roll their eyes when someone on screen calls out to hurry and fetch some "hot water" anytime a character gets injured or sick, there's an exchange here that will you leave you laughing.

I Love You Again is available only as part of this five-title collection, which has been packaged in an attractive fold-out case with nice photos of Loy and Powell throughout. All the films come with various extras, though no commentaries. I Love You Again comes with a fair MGM cartoon, Tom Turkey and His Harmonica Humdingers (1940), a very good "Crime Does Not Pay" short entitled Jack Pot (1940), starring Tom Neal, and a trailer. Picture and sound are tops.

For more information about I Love You Again, visit Warner Video. To order I Love You Again, go to TCM Shopping.

by Jeremy Arnold