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The Perfect Marriage

The Perfect Marriage(1947)

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On their tenth wedding anniversary, Maggie and Dale Williams, who are thought by their friends to have a perfect marriage, confess that they have become merely "highly intimate acquaintances" who are more involved with their careers than with each other. The next morning, after their daughter Cookie tells her intrusive grandmothers that Dale slept in the study, Maggie and Dale are each confronted by their mothers, but deny any trouble. Maggie's mother, Dolly Haggerty, insists that Maggie should have married Captain Gil Cummings, her childhood sweetheart. Next, Maggie and Dale's friend, Gloria, a divorcée, visits in order to borrow a hat before breaking up with her current boyfriend. After she leaves, Dale tells Maggie how hard it is for a woman over thirty--especially one with a child--to get a man. Furious at Dale's insinuation that he is staying with her out of charity, Maggie calls their lawyer, Addison Manning, about a divorce. Addison, however, tells his friends they are merely being "petulant and sulky." Addison's wife Mabel, however, eavesdrops on the conversation and pulls Maggie aside to tell her that Dale and Gloria were seen around town together the previous summer. Maggie assumes Dale was unfaithful with Gloria, even though she knows they met as friends. Later, Maggie and Dale tell Cookie that they are getting a divorce, and she tells them that all of her friends whose parents are divorced receive nice gifts because their parents compete for their affections. Mabel then starts a chain of gossip that Maggie and Dale are divorcing, which reaches their parents and Gil, who is on leave. Gil makes a date with Maggie, and Dale goes out with Gloria. Although Maggie is not anxious to remarry, Gil proposes and manipulates her into accepting him. When all four return to Maggie and Dale's apartment for drinks, Maggie and Dale align themselves against their dates over how Cookie should be reared. Gloria quickly sees that Dale is still in love with his wife and leaves. Then, while embracing Gil, Maggie's back goes out. As Dale is the only one who can make her back feel better, Gil finally leaves the couple alone in their bedroom. As he rubs Maggie's back, Dale assures her that he and Gloria met innocently. They then confess that they each had planned to give Cookie a pearl necklace. Gil, meanwhile, exits the building, and Maggie's and Dale's fathers, who have been waiting in a cab downstairs, gleefully offer him a ride just as Maggie and Dale's bedroom light goes out.