The More the Merrier
Time Out saysThe housing shortage in wartime Washington provides the pretext for this engaging post-screwball comedy, remade some two decades later as Walk, Don't Run. Prim Jean Arthur reluctantly agrees to take Coburn as a boarder, and the next thing she knows he has sublet his half of the apartment to handsome McCrea. Their ménage à trois is innocent enough, but inevitably Arthur's marriage plans come in for modification. Coburn won an Oscar for his supporting role as the mischievous old matchmaker Mr Dingle, but the real pleasure lies in the sympathetic ensemble playing: the trio trying to stick to Arthur's farcical morning schedule; sunbathing on the roof reading Dick Tracy; or the young lovers necking on the front steps. Shooting through and around doors, windows and paper-thin walls, Stevens achieves a credible sense of what it's like living in someone else's space. Despite a belated drift towards sentimentality, this remains a refreshingly intimate movie.