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With: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Clark Gable, Rosalind Russell, Una Merkel, Florence Rice, John Beal, Jessie Ralph, Edgar Kennedy, Frank McHugh, Edmund Lowe, Gail Patrick, Jack Carson, Florence Bates, Sidney Blackmer, etc.
Written by: Charles Lederer, George Oppenheimer, Harry Kurnitz, Jo Swerling, Lenore J. Coffee, Oliver H.P. Garrett, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, William Ludwig, David Hertz, etc.
Directed by: W.S. Van Dyke, William K. Howard, Richard Thorpe, Jack Conway
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 450
Date: 03/19/2013

Myrna Loy and William Powell Collection (2007)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Crazy Love

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

William Powell and Myrna Loy appeared in 14 films together, demonstrating the kind of filmic chemistry that may be impossible to duplicate. The best of these were the Thin Man films, which Warner Home Video released in a superb DVD box set in 2005; the first Thin Man (1934) in particular is a superb example of Hollywood craftsmanship by director W.S. Van Dyke.

Now Warners has released five more Powell & Loy films in a new box set, including their first film together, Van Dyke's Manhattan Melodrama (1934). In this film, however, the focus is on Clark Gable and Powell as two lifelong friends whose paths diverge, one to a life of crime and the other to a life of justice instead of the playful couple. It's known as the film that John Dillinger was watching when he was captured.

Van Dyke directed one other film in the set, I Love You Again (1940), a silly, but speedy and charming romantic comedy of amnesia. Larry Wilson (Powell) is a dull dweeb, a teetotaler on a cruise who conks his head while rescuing a fellow passenger, 'Doc' Ryan (Frank McHugh). Upon awakening, he finds that his memory, lost years earlier, has been restored, and he is in fact George Carey, a cunning con man. He returns to Wilson's small town home and impersonates Wilson long enough to clean out his bank account, but falls madly in love with his own wife, Kay (Loy), who is on the verge of divorcing him. Van Dyke was known for quick shooting and a small number of takes, which usually results in energetic films, although this one is quite a bit more polished than The Thin Man.

The other three films are: William K. Howard's Evelyn Prentice (1934), Richard Thorpe's Double Wedding (1937) and Jack Conway's Love Crazy (1941). Each disc comes with two-reel shorts, cartoons (nothing special), trailers and optional subtitles. The Love Crazy disc swaps its short subject in favor of an audio-only radio version featuring Powell.

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