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That Wonderful Urge

That Wonderful Urge(1949)

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teaser That Wonderful Urge (1949)

Tyrone Power is among the few actors to star in the remake of an earlier film in which he also starred. That Wonderful Urge (1948) is a remake of the 1937 screwball comedy, Love Is News. Power is a reporter who's written some sensational articles about the private life of madcap heiress Gene Tierney. When she goes to Sun Valley on vacation, he follows her, and using a false name tells her he's a local reporter who wants to write an article to combat the lies being told about her in Power's paper. Of course, they fall in love. After he leaves, she finds out who he really is and vows revenge, telling the newspapers that they're married. In typical screwball fashion, it takes multiple complications and a libel case before the predictable happy ending.

Power and Tierney had been co-stars twice before, in Son of Fury (1942), when she was just starting out and he was one of the biggest stars on the Fox lot. By the time they made The Razor's Edge (1946), both were at the top. For both stars, That Wonderful Urge was a rare opportunity to cut loose in a comedy, and they threw themselves into it. It would be the last time Power appeared in a comedy.

Romance was in the air during the location filming of That Wonderful Urge. Tierney had recently reconciled with her husband, fashion designer Oleg Cassini, just a month before their divorce was final. Power, newly-divorced from French actress Annabella, had been involved in a stormy affair with Lana Turner. But as Tierney recalled in her autobiography, "When we went on location to Sun Valley, Oleg flew out for a few days. The title must have been catching. Another visitor to the set was Linda Christian. Ty was in love with her, they were crazy about each other, and I was happy for him." Power and Christian married the following year. Both couples eventually divorced.

Critical reaction to That Wonderful Urge was lukewarm. "The best that can be said," according to Newsweek, "is that Powers takes an incredible beating at the hands of the vengeful Miss Tierney, and some of this can't help but be mildly amusing." The New York Times admitted that "Mr. Power and Miss Tierney are a congenial team and they get adequate assistance from Reginald Gardiner, Arleen Whelan, Lucile Watson and others, plus some beautiful Sun Valley snowscapes...But there isn't much honest amusement." Perhaps the problem was not so much the film as the times. Screwball comedy had begun as comic relief for Depression audiences, especially when they could laugh at the foibles of the rich and silly. But after the horrors of a world war and the challenges of the postwar era, audiences weren't so easily diverted.

Director: Robert B. Sinclair
Producer: Fred Kohlmar
Screenplay: Jay Dratler, based on the story "Love Is News" by William R. Lipman and Frederick Stephani
Cinematography: Charles G. Clarke
Editor: Louis Loeffler
Costume Design: Oleg Cassini, Fred A. Picard
Art Direction: Lyle Wheeler, George Davis
Music: Cyril J. Mockridge
Cast: Tyrone Power (Thomas Jefferson Tyler), Gene Tierney (Sara Farley), Reginald Gardiner (Count Andre de Guyon), Arleen Whelan (Jessica Woods), Lucile Watson (Aunt Cornelia Farley), Gene Lockhart (Judge Parker), Lloyd Gough (Duffy), Porter Hall (Attorney Ketchell), Chill Wills (Justice of the Peace Homer Beggs), Hope Emerson (Mrs. Riley).

by Margarita Landazuri

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