Obliging Young Lady (1942)

Obliging Young Lady (1942)

A couple of stars and several recognizable character actors make this face paced comedy tolerable. Casting Edmond O’Brien in a comedy may have been the first mistake plus some of the gags are positively juvenile. However it is probably worth seeing if only for the few and far between grins.

O’Brien who plays a reporter returning from an assignment meets Linda Norton (Ruth Warrick whose first film was Citizen Kane (1941)) as he gets off his train and is infatuated. However she is met at the station by her fiancee Charlie Baker (Robert Smith) so that’s the end of that. It turns out Ms. Norton is employed by a wealthy man George Potter (John Miljan) who’s going through a divorce which is sure to make headlines. Mr. and Mrs. Potter (Marjorie Gateson) have a precocious child Bridget (played by “B” picture child star Joan Carroll).

In order to avoid making the news with their divorce and custody fight the Potters decide to send Bridget – with Ms. Norton as her chaperone – to a remote resort. They pretend to be sisters on a vacation together to keep Bridget’s identity a secret. O’Brien who decides to retire from reporting to become a novelist is still infatuated but has been unable to track down the object of his affection. So he decides to get away from it all and (naturally) runs into Bridget then Ms. Norton on the train which is taking them to the resort. After they successfully “ditch him” Bridget – who had taken a liking to O’Brien’s character anyway – runs into him camping in the forest near the resort. Baker the fiancee saw O’Brien getting on the same train as she and jealous decides to drive to the resort too. Of course hijinks galore ensue.

Eve Arden (whose talents are wasted in this film) plays a reporter that’s an acquaintance of O’Brien’s. Having been assigned to the story of the Potters she tries to find out where their daughter is sniffs out the trail and also travels to the resort participating in the fracas. Familiar stock player Emory Parnell appears uncredited as a motorcycle police officer.

The ending of the film is too trite and entirely unearned though completely predictable.

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