The Marrying Kind

Right after “Born Yesterday,” Judy Holiday made a film called “The Marrying Kind” in 1952.  George Cukor directed both films and although Holiday definitely plays a New Yorker in both movies, she’s more of a working class heroine in The Marrying Kind.  Holiday plays Florie Keefer, the wife of Chet Keefer, who works as a mail sorter at the Post Office.  Aldo Ray, in his first major role, plays the hot-headed and unsympathetic Chet.

Aldo Ray and Judy Holiday

Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin’s extremely talky script must have presented a challenge to Cukor as he staged scene after scene of domestic situations.  But he opens up the story with New York street scenes and by showing the massive mail sorting machinery at Chet’s workplace.  As the years go by and the Keefers bear children, their increasing domestic squabbles threaten their marriage.  The film tells their story in flashback as Florrie and Chet relate their stories of the marriage before a judge (Madge Kennedy) in her chambers.

Gordon and Kanin deliver a sensitive script, with a lot of compelling observations about married life.  At one point, for instance, Florrie says she feels more lonely being married than she ever did being single.  The movie shows that most marital arguments concern trivial matters, and goes on to illustrate it.  We hear and see a lot of stupid arguments between Florrie and Chet, and that yelling becomes unpleasant after a while.  Holiday does not develop enough chemistry with Ray, except that both of their characters try very hard to do right.  Holiday has tons of chemistry with William Holden in Born Yesterday, but he would have been miscast as a working stiff in this movie.

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