Government Girl (1943)

Genres - Comedy, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Political Satire  |   Release Date - Jan 6, 1944 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 94 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Very definitely a period piece, Government Girl just hasn't aged well -- but even in its prime, it was a fairly weak piece of fluff. Wartime audiences would have been amused by the many topical references and plot points, many of which will leave modern viewers scratching their heads. But Girl's bigger problem is that it is neither very funny nor particularly imaginative. A fair share of the blame must go to the screenplay, which is often a jumble of bits taken from different movies and put together here with spit and paste. Set-ups are often lame, and some pay-offs are missed because of this improper setting up. First time director Dudley Nichols clearly is feeling his way here; Girl needed a much more experienced hand to navigate the many pitfalls in the script and to handle leads that are not naturals at comedy. Both Olivia de Havilland and Sonny Tufts are adequate, but that's not enough when you're carrying a picture. De Havilland pushes too hard and often comes across as shrill and even unpleasant; Tufts is simply not a good enough actor to do more without a strong director. The supporting cast, especially Agnes Moorehead, Paul Stewart and Anne Shirley, come off much better.