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This might just be one of the most well-written films I’ve ever watched! It’s brilliantly structured and has some of the wittiest dialogue ever. I was so tempted to just quote the entire movie in the Random Movie Quotes thread. I love the structure with the three interlocking flashbacks where something we heard about in one flashback gets illuminated in another flashback.

In a film with at least seven key characters (one of whom is marvelously fleshed out without ever having to even appear on screen), every character feels rich and whole. They all have their endearing qualities but are also flawed. It’s also this awesome portrayal of friendship and marriage. By the end of the film, I felt like I really knew these people and ended up liking them so much that I didn’t want the film to end. I also really love the way the film seems to be perched at this critical point tonally where it’s dramatic and suspenseful without ever going overboard and seeming ridiculous or too movie-like.

It’s full of quotable lines and feels way ahead of its time not just in the way women and marriages are portrayed but also the lines themselves. And all that stuff about radio just applies to the television a few years later and then to the internet and video games now, I guess. It’s amazing the way it doesn’t feel the least bit dated even so many years later.

Also, I want to marry George Phibbs.

Grade: B+

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