Never a Dull Moment (1950)

Genres - Comedy, Musical  |   Sub-Genres - Musical Comedy, Romantic Comedy  |   Release Date - Nov 21, 1950 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 89 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Based on a novel by Kay Swift (who also wrote the three songs in the film version), Never a Dull Moment is a fairly routine "fish out of water" comedy made palatable by its engaging cast and, to a lesser extent, from the assured, if mostly uninspired, direction of George Marshall. In her next-to-last film, Irene Dunne is a pleasure to be around, as always. She brings her patented brand of femininity, sincerity, capability, and independence to the role, and her contributions are among the film's biggest assets. She fits well with Fred MacMurray, although he's a bit too laid-back here -- not dangerously so, but enough to keep some of the gags from landing. Better are Andy Devine and the perennially grumpy William Demarest; Natalie Wood and Gigi Perreau also score as the daughters, especially when playing opposite Dunne. If Marshall's direction is not of the prizewinning variety, he still puts across the physical routines with aplomb and wrangles laughs out of some of the lamer jokes in the script. Swift's tunes are pleasant, but nothing to write home about -- much like the film itself.