We're Not Dressing

  • 1934
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Comedy, Musical

The second of many adaptations of J.M. Barrie's "The Admirable Crichton," this had the distinction of having songs added to the familiar story and an all-star cast that took advantage of every last bit of comedy in the script. First made by Cecil B. DeMille as MALE AND FEMALE (with Tom Meighan and Gloria Swanson), it was later remade twice in England, and...read more

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The second of many adaptations of J.M. Barrie's "The Admirable Crichton," this had the distinction of having songs added to the familiar story and an all-star cast that took advantage of every last bit of comedy in the script. First made by Cecil B. DeMille as MALE AND FEMALE (with Tom

Meighan and Gloria Swanson), it was later remade twice in England, and the plot has been "appropriated" several more times without due credit. Lombard is a fabulously wealthy heiress who has invited a group of friends to join her on a leisurely trip to the South Seas. Also aboard are royalists

Milland and Henry, plus Errol and his fiancee, Merman. There's a full crew but the one member we care about is Crosby, a deckhand, whose main job is taking Lombard's pet bear for a walk around the yacht's decks. Errol thinks he can pilot the yacht, takes control of the helm, and the result is that

the huge vessel is wrecked and the passengers are tossed onto the small island nearby. None of the crew survives the experience except Crosby (a convenience for the plot and totally implausible). The nature of the power shifts once they are on the island because all of the passengers are

ill-suited for the rigors of a Robinson Crusoe existence. Crosby takes over as the leader of the pack and whips them all into shape so they share the chores needed to survive. The servant becomes the master and that forms much of the comedy. On another part of the island, Burns and Allen are a

pair of botanists who set fantastic traps to catch animals (a satire of the "Rube" Goldberg cartoons which were so popular in that era). Naturally, Crosby loves Lombard and, after the usual turns, she reciprocates when they are rescued at the finale. Mark Gordon and Harry Revel wrote all of the

pleasant tunes, and other than "It's Just a New Spanish Custom" (sung by Merman and Errol), the songs were all done by Crosby. They include: "It's a Lie," "Once in a Blue Moon," "Let's Play House," "Goodnight, Lovely Little Lady," "Love Thy Neighbor," "May I?," "She Reminds Me of You," "I'll Sing

About the Birds and the Bees," and "Riding 'Round in the Rain." "Love Thy Neighbor" stepped out to become a hit. Burns and Allen got the lion's share of the laughs with their brief bit, most of which was devoted to showing how dense Allen was. At one point, Burns speaks of "flora and fauna" and

Allen thinks that they are a vaudeville duo. If it all sounds a bit like "Gilligan's Island," you're right.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: The second of many adaptations of J.M. Barrie's "The Admirable Crichton," this had the distinction of having songs added to the familiar story and an all-star cast that took advantage of every last bit of comedy in the script. First made by Cecil B. DeMill… (more)

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