Love, Honor and Behave

This is a story about the too-amicable dissolution of a marriage and the next generation nearly repeating the same mistakes. Dan Painter (played by Thomas Mitchell, Uncle Billy from IAWL) wants his wife to be more passionate and fun-loving. His wife, Sally, believes in quiet dignity and that losing with honor is the highest ideal. She has created a fetish of this virtue, as her husband once says, to the point that she would rather lose with honor than win with honor. This frustrates Dan no end. She is also raising their son, Ted, with this same moral code. Dan has a fling with the neighbor lady and the couple amicably decide to divorce. The neighbor lady also divorces her husband hoping to marry Dan. The neighbors have a daughter, Barbara, who is little Ted's playmate.

When Ted (now played by Wayne Morris) is a senior at Yale he reconnects with Barbara (now played by Priscilla Lane) who sets her cap and tries to navigate Ted towards a different life course. They elope and he abandons his plans for medical school, but his mother's influence is too strong and he continues to be an honorable failure at everything. This time is seems like Barbara is bound to have a fling but Ted finally breaks out of his conditioning and he and his wife have a huge brawl, ending with black eyes for each of them and a vicious spanking for Barbara which she loves.

All's well that ends well.

Young Ted is played by Dickie Moore of Our Gang fame. I thought I saw a quick appearance by Hattie McDaniel as a housemaid, but it turned out to be her sister, Etta McDaniel.

What else...  The movie starts in 1922 and has party-goers casually "making gin" from alcohol and juniper. The movie opens to the tune "Bei Mir Bist Du Schein" and Priscilla Lane sings it during the movie as well. The Andrews Sisters had their big hit with this song in 1937.

To me this movie had a little pre-code naughtiness in it. It must have just squeeked by.


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