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Allotment Wives

Allotment Wives(1945)

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teaser Allotment Wives (1945)

Kay Francis, the once-upon-a-time queen of the "woman's picture" of the 1930s, had her movie star lustre considerably reduced by the 1940s. She'd long left the glamour days of Warner Brothers to contract with Monogram studios, the same two-fisted outfit that created the Bowery Boys comedies and Charlie Chan movies (and to whom Godard dedicated his own New Wave gangster film Breathless (1960)) The pay was small, the output strictly grade B, and the censors mostly couldn't be bothered. Maybe that's why this story about military insurance fraud, marriage for hire, and double-crosses aplenty escaped their scissor-happy glare. Francis was a copious diarist and recorded how much she contributed to this production, including uncredited script rewrites. Alas, a segue into a career as a screenwriter was not to be: this was the 40-year old actress's final screen appearance.

By Violet LeVoit

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