(1940)1.5Craig ButlerI Take This Woman was often referred to as "I Re-Take This Woman," due to the fact that most of the film was entirely re-shot over the course of 18 months and 3 directors, thanks to the interference of Louis B. Mayer and his desire to make Hedy Lamarr the studio's biggest star. As might be concluded from that anecdote, Woman is a real patchwork job, totally lacking in cohesiveness and a firm vision of what it should be and playing like a mess, in spite of the stalwart efforts of final director W.S. Van Dyke to pull the whole thing together. What's really surprising is that such a huge effort was expended on what, in the best of circumstances, would have been nothing more than a standard issue melodrama. Woman is simply a bore, with a screenplay that, despite a few pungent Charles MacArthur lines, rarely rises above the mundane. Lamarr looks sensational, of course, and is beautifully costumed and coiffed -- but her performance is perfunctory and unconvincing. Co-star Spencer Tracy, understandably miffed that he was being ignored in favor of Lamarr, does better, but it's hardly one of his great performances. Veree Teasdale comes off best, largely because she gets the best lines, and the supporting cast is fine. But there's really not much point in seeing Woman -- unless one really likes to spot continuity errors, which the prolonged shoot and change of helmsmen created in abundance.