(director: Lewis Milestone; screenwriters: Allan Scott/John Van Drutan/based on the story Bonne Chance by Sacha Guitry; cinematographer: Robert de Grasse; editor: Henry Berman; music: Dimitri Tiomkin; cast: Ronald Colman (David Grant), Ginger Rogers (Jean Newton), Jack Carson (Freddie Harper), Spring Byington (Aunt Lucy), Cecilia Loftus (Mrs. Alice Sylvester), Brandon Tynan (Mr. Sylvester), Harry Davenport (Judge), Leon Belasco (Nick#1), Edward Conrad (Nick#2), Hugh O’Connell (Niagara Falls clerk), Grady Sutton (Reporter); Runtime: 102; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: George Haight/Harry E. Edington; RKO Radio Pictures; 1940-B/W)

“A slight comedy with no edge and not much wit.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A slight comedy with no edge and not much wit. It’s a cutesy story laboriously directed by Lewis Milestone (“Of Mice And Men”/”Mutiny on the Bounty”), a fine filmmaker but one not suited for comedies. But he’s a good friend of the film’s star Ronald Coleman, who asked him to direct the pic for his new production company. It’s based on the story Bonne Chance by Sacha Guitry, and is written by Allan Scott and the playwright John Van Drutan. Lucky Partners is a remake of the French film Bonne Chance (1935).

On a Greenwich Village street the bookkeeper of a Village book store, Jean Newton (Ginger Rogers), passes the stranger David Grant (Ronald Colman), who out of the blue wishes her luck. Shortly afterwards another stranger hands her a beautiful dress. She attributes the gift to the luck passed onto her by the passing stranger. It turns out he’s an artist who works in a studio next door to her Aunt Lucy’s (Spring Byington) bookshop and is a drop-out from the rat race who is not into making money. She tells him she wants the prize money to marry her insurance engineer fiance, Freddie (Jack Carson), from Poughkeepsie
, and thereby persuades him to meet her in Nick’s cafe, where they split a sweepstakes ticket. But he will consent only if she promises if they win to go on a “platonic” honeymoon with him to Niagara Falls before her wedding.

The premise might seem a bit odd but it follows the usual rom/com formula, as the strangers fall in love on their honeymoon and Freddie comes out the loser.

Ginger and Ronald do as well as they can with the corny material. The film only got mixed-reviews and did not do well at the box office.

REVIEWED ON 7/17/2023  GRADE: C+