The Law and the Lady (1951)

Genres - Comedy, Crime  |   Release Date - Jul 20, 1951 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 105 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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MGM would have been better off not attempting to give The Last of Mrs. Cheney a third go, albeit this time under the title The Law and the Lady. The title change is significant; the original has an air of mystery about it, something that sounds intriguing and piques one's interest. By contrast, The Law and the Lady sounds fairly pedestrian, a little too "solid" for this kind of film. Making matters much worse is that the new writers have let all the fun out of the original Frederick Lonsdale material. There's precious little sparkle or wit to the dialogue, little ingenuity in the manner in which they have laid out their plot. Characterization is lacking as well; in short, the writers have bungled the job pretty much from start to finish. Edwin H. Knopf's colorless direction doesn't help matters. Surprisingly, the usually radiant Greer Garson turns in an uncharacteristically lackluster performance. Michael Wilding never begins to get underneath the skin of his character, Fernando Lamas looks good but is basically going through the motions, and only Marjorie Main manages to inject any real fun into the proceedings. Lady is, altogether, a dull disappointment.