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William Powell and Myrna Loy starred together in a total of thirteen films (including six in The Thin Man series). Powell and Loy were so believable as a married couple that many audience members thought they were married in real life. In reality, the two were never romantically involved but developed a close life-long friendship.
In the slapstick comedy Love Crazy (1941), Powell and Loy play a married couple celebrating their fourth wedding anniversary. Instead of enjoying a romantic evening alone, Loy's mother arrives unexpectedly and sprains her ankle, forcing her to extend her visit. Later while Loy is away from home, Powell decides he needs to get away from his mother-in-law and goes to visit an old flame who lives nearby. Powell's nosy mother-in-law tells Loy something is going on and before long Loy wants a divorce. Powell's attorney advises him to feign insanity to buy him some time, but Loy calls his bluff and has him committed. The film is capped off with Powell shaving his trademark mustache to masquerade as his sister.
Critics had high praise for Love Crazy. Variety reported, "William Powell and Myrna Loy romp merrily through another marital comedy, compactly set up and tempoed at a zippy pace. Love Crazy is a standout laugh hit of top proportions, a happy successor to previous Powell-Loy teamings." Decades after the film's release, Lawrence J. Quirk in The Films of Myrna Loy states, "Even now the film looks fresh and timely... The story is one of those wild concoctions, embellished with smart, sophisticated talk and more than its share of low-brow humor."
William Powell and Myrna Loy first worked together on the 1934 film Manhattan Melodrama with Clark Gable. Powell and Loy had not been introduced when they filmed their first scene together in a car. Myrna Loy recalls, "I was supposed to open the door and get in and sit down beside Bill Powell, which I did. I looked at him and he looked at me, and he said, 'Miss Loy, I presume.' Right from the start there was that marvelous thing between us." The director, W. S. Van Dyke, was so impressed with the pair he convinced Louis B. Mayer to let him use them again in The Thin Man (1934). The first of The Thin Man movies was shot in only two weeks. It received a nomination for Best Picture and William Powell received a Best Actor nomination.
Changes were taking place in the lives of the main actors during the filming of Love Crazy. In 1941, Myrna Loy divorced her first husband, producer Arthur Hornblow, Jr., and the following year married advertising executive John D. Hertz, Jr. of Hertz Rent-A-Car. William Powell married his third wife, actress Diana Lewis in 1940. Many in Hollywood were skeptical of the marriage since Lewis was 26 years younger than Powell, but the two remained married until his death in 1984.
Director: Jack Conway
Producer: Pandro S. Berman
Screenplay: William Ludwig, Charles Lederer, David Hertz
Cinematography: Ray June
Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons
Music: David Snell
Cast: William Powell (Steven Ireland), Myrna Loy (Susan Ireland), Gail Patrick (Isobel Grayson), Jack Carson (Ward Willoughby), Florence Bates (Mrs. Cooper), Vladimir Sokoloff (Dr. Klugle), Sig Ruman (Dr. Wuthering).
BW-99m. Closed captioning.
by Deborah Looney