Honeymoon in Bali (1939)

Genres - Comedy, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Romantic Comedy  |   Release Date - Sep 29, 1939 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

An uneven romantic comedy that shows its age for modern audiences, Honeymoon in Bali is nevertheless a moderately entertaining way to pass an hour and a half. As with many "battle of the sexes" comedies from the period, Bali promotes the idea that, all her own protestations aside, a career woman should see that her work is far less important than fulfilling an expected role with a man. Those who disagree with this premise will find Bali a bit difficult to get through; but those who agree with it, or at least are able to view it as a plot contrivance, should find sufficient pleasure in the film. The writers have supplied a more-than-decent amount of witty dialogue and some amusing situations, and for the first 2/3 have devised a plot that works well. They do seem to have lost control of things a bit in the final third, when the plot gets derailed by too many pointless complications. They also have included a child character who grates, especially in the too-cute-by-half performance of Carolyn Lee. But the rest of the cast is lovely, with Madeleine Carroll in tip-top form and Fred MacMurray persuasive as the man destined to be her partner. Allan Jones seems to have been hauled in primarily for his voice, which sounds quite good, but he handles his perfunctory role quite well, and Akim Tamiroff is a delight as a wise window washer