On Approval

80 minutes 1944

The Wildean witticisms come fast and furious in this effervescent screen adaptation (1944) of a British play by Frederick Lonsdale. When low-ranking socialite Richard (Roland Culver) proposes marriage to the aging but wealthy Maria (Beatrice Lillie), she suggests that they test their compatibility by spending a chaste month together on a Scottish isle, and their friends Helen (Googie Withers) and George, Duke of Bristol (Clive Brook), come along to chaperone. Brook, perhaps best known for playing Sherlock Holmes in a trio of Hollywood films, served here as producer, director, and screenwriter; this marked his only work behind the camera, but the movie's comic timing is impeccable, not only in the players' delivery but in Fergus McDonnell's droll editing.

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