Bedtime Story (1941)

Genres - Comedy, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Screwball Comedy  |   Release Date - Dec 25, 1941 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 83 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Bedtime Story is a relatively unknown little comedy that deserves a wider audience. It's not a classic like Bringing Up Baby, but it has a certain charm all its own that will please many fans of 1940s comedies. It's not quite screwball, although it certainly wants to be one, and that's a problem. It lacks a little of the edge, a little of the energy and a little of the inventiveness that the screwball classics have in such abundance. But it's a bit more warmly amusing, and if Alexander Hall's direction lacks the bite of someone like Howard Hawks, it is still stylish and secure. The plot is a trifle weak, although the basic set-up is fairly sound, but the often witty dialogue helps to smooth over plot deficiencies. Most importantly, Bedtime Story has a lovely cast. Fredric March again demonstrates his considerable skill at playing comedy, and he uses his ability to be slyly manipulative to very good effect here. Loretta Young is quite lovely as his resistant actress wife; if she lacks the inner fire that Katharine Hepburn would have brought to the part, she makes up for it with her sincerity and determination. Eve Arden is, as usual, wonderful as a put-upon actress, and Robert Benchley is his typically amusing self. All in all, Bedtime Story is one of those films that are fun to discover.