“Casanova Brown” (1944)
“Casanova Brown” is an example of the importance of the use of what might be best described as the pixilated lilt in filming humorous materials. A romantic comedy in which a chronic convenience of miscommunication is once again the scapegoat for the confusion which inevitably leads to what are intended as uproarious results, the film is, in reality, a flimsy house of cards which, due to the disharmony of an anemic comedic tone born of the collision of inconsistent and sloppy plotting by Nunnally Johnson and the leaden, spiritless direction by Sam Wood, inevitably implodes on itself.
The third film version of the 1928 play Little Accident by Floyd Dell and Thomas Mitchell, it features Gary Cooper as Casanova (“Cass”) Q. Brown, a mild-mannered college professor who upon the eve of his wedding also finds himself on the threshold of fatherhood with a different woman. In deference to the scrupulously sin sniffing antennae of the Production Code, the script goes through great convoluted lengths to explain how such a venerable public icon such as Cooper could possibly be involved in the production of an illegitimate tot.
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