OUT OF THE BLUE. Eagle-Lion Films, 1947. George Brent, Virginia Mayo, Turhan Bey, Ann Dvorak, Carole Landis, Elizabeth Patterson, Julia Dean. Based on a story by Vera Caspary, serialized in Today’s Woman, September 1947. Director: Leigh Jason.

   The nominal stars of this semi-sprightly comedy romance are George Brent and Virginia Mayo, but it is Ann Dvorak as the more-than-slightly tipsy (and and always tippling) Olive Jensen who steals the show. I don’t believe I’ve seen her in a straight comedy role before, but on the other hand, there are a lot of her movies I haven’t seen. On the basis of her performance here, I’m tempted to search out more.

   Nor, strangely enough, are Brent and Mayo romantically paired off in this film. He’s the meek, mild-mannered and henpecked husband of Carole Landis who uncharacteristically picks up Dvorak when his wife goes out of town for a weekend, while next door in the same apartment building Virginia Mayo and Turhan Bey find themselves falling for each other. The latter is a bohemian type artist, and she’s a wealthy dog-owner whom he persuades to pose for him, while two elderly biddies watch all of the comedic goings-on from their seats in the balcony and their apartment one floor above.

   Looking at the paragraph above, I will concede that there’s nothing there to suggest what kind of funny goings-on are going on. It’s difficult to put into words, but to go back to the first paragraph of this review, it’s the reaction of milquetoast Brent (if you can picture that) when he finds that the lady he meets in a bar and invites up for a brandy just won’t go home, and dramatically (and as I said above, tipsily) so. In fact, she stays overnight, unbeknownst to him, since they are in two separate bedrooms.

   Worse, she has a bad heart, or so she claims, and after one argument between the two a little more strenuous than usual, she collapses on the floor, and George Brent, faced with his wife’s imminent return and thinking her dead, dumps her body on his neighbor’s terrace (the one owned by the bohemian artist, with whom he and his wife have been feuding).

   I guess you have to watch this yourself, as mere words may not be enough, but in all honesty, at nearly 90 minutes long, it is at least 20 minutes longer than it needed to be, and alas and alack, neither Virginia Mayo nor Carole Landis make much of an impression, especially the latter in a part truly not made for her.