The Perfect Woman (1949)

THE PERFECT WOMAN (1949)
Article 2334 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-16-2007
Posting Date: 1-2-2008
Directed by Bernard Knowles
Featuring Patricia Roc, Stanley Holloway, Nigel Patrick

A dotty inventor has created a robot modeled off of his lovely niece. He hires a down-and-out playboy and his butler to take the robot on the town as a test run. The inventor’s niece, tired of being cooped up all of the time, decides to take the place of the robot. Hilarity ensues.

Usually when I use the phrase “hilarity ensues” in my plot description, it should be taken ironically. However, this movie isn’t half bad; Stanley Holloway is consistently amusing as the put-upon butler, and there is the occasional good laugh (usually involving Holloway or Miles Malleson as the inventor). It is, however, not as funny as it would like to be; the basic setup is rather forced, and the more frantic and shrill it gets, the less funny it becomes. The Swiss bellhop and the hotel manager are both potentially funny, but neither one is used well, and I do think they could have been more creative with the robot’s reactions to the various orders that are given; I’m thinking of some of the shtick they gave to the robot Hymie on “Get Smart” as examples. At least the robot is given enough screen time that it doesn’t turn out to be just a Gizmo Maguffin, and there have been science fiction comedies that have been far worse than this one.

 

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