USA 1949, 84 minutes, black & white, Columbia Pictures. Director: Henry Levin, Written by Lou Breslow and Joseph Hoffman. Cast: Robert Young, Barbara Hale, Robert Hutton, Janis Carter, Billie Burke, Nicholas Joy, Lloyd Corrigan, Howland Chamberlain, Melville Cooper.
Plot summary: Vern and Jackie are recently divorced and not exactly on speaking terms until Jackie wants to get married again and learns that she is pregnant with Vern’s baby.
Review: Engaged to Herbert Fletcher, a man of considerable wealth, recent divorcée Jackie Walsh (Barbara Hale) is walking down the aisle as a glowing bride when she suddenly swoons and has to lie down to get examined by her uncle, Dr. Bill Parnell (Lloyd Corrigan). Overwhelming her with the news of being pregnant with her ex-husband’s child, Jackie is forced to deal with an excited Verne (Robert Young), a dumbfounded Herbie (Robert Hutton) and his unamused family. As the story progresses, Jackie is torn between the two men in her life and easily falls back into her old patterns of fighting and laughing with Verne the way she used to before they ended their marriage.
Diverting and hilarious in best screwball tradition, And Baby Makes Three used well-proven twists and turns to tell a silly but amusing story. Blessed with the talents of two charming leads, the film benefited from the chemistry between Hale and Young, as well as from the fast-paced, witty dialog. Although predictable like most romantic comedies, the movie offered 84 delightful minutes of good-natured drama, absurdity and puns. It may not have been as successful as other top-notch comedies of its time, but And Baby Makes Three is one of those gems that now get a second chance to find an audience of all ages. Released on DVD on September 4, the film will be available for anyone who appreciates the work of two renowned actors whose career paths first crossed at RKO in 1946. Starring together in Lady Luck and then again on Marcus Welby M.D. in 1974, “Bob” Young also presented “Barb” Hale with her Emmy in 1959, an award Young himself had previously won for Father Knows Best in two consecutive years.
Melanie Simone is a writer with a degree in American Studies and English. On Talking Classics, she savors her love for vintage Hollywood.