Fools for Scandal (1938)

Genres - Comedy, Romance  |   Release Date - Apr 16, 1938 (USA)  |   Run Time - 81 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Although often called a screwball comedy, Fools for Scandal is a wee bit too mild to really fit into that genre. A considerable flop at the time of its release, Scandal is actually a genial, fairly diverting little romantic comedy. Granted, it's entirely a piece of fluff, and would have been a much better picture if it had been handled with a much lighter touch than that employed here by director Mervyn LeRoy. Perhaps LeRoy felt a little out of his element, unable to care enough about the foolish little story to help disguise some of the holes and flaws in the screenplay -- of which there are several. However, the dialogue is generally bright, the premise has promise, and there are a number of set pieces that work quite nicely. In the leading role, Carole Lombard looks delicious, and though she overplays and veers occasionally into territory that is a bit shrill, she still brings her special magic to the part. Fernand Gravey is fine, if nothing special, as her love interest, and Ralph Bellamy is very, very good as the man who doesn't get the girl. Scandal ambles a bit when it needs to be setting a sure pace, and its pieces don't all fit smoothly together, but it's a pleasant way to pass the time.