Sunday, 17 July 2011

The Man Who Lost Himself (1941)

Nils Asther and Kay Francis on the set of The Man Who Lost Himself, 1941.
Kay Francis wears one of her many Vera West gowns throughout the picture.

Malcolm Scott (Brian Aherne) is a wealthy, disliked man who escapes from an insane asylum. He meets John Evans (also Brian Aherne), his exact double, and persuades him to take his place to deal with the unpleasantness of his upcoming divorce. Meanwhile, Scott's wife, Adrienne (Kay Francis) already has a new boyfriend, Peter Ransome (Nils Asther).

This film was made during the Production Code and was subject to alteration. The censor objected to certain lovemaking scenes with Brian Aherne and Kay Frances, in which although they were playing husband and wife, Brian Aherne seemed to believe Kay Francis had been fooled into believing it was his double. This was enough to break the Code rule against adultery. Additional heavy-handed asides and winks to the camera had to be filmed, to show the husband assumed his wife was stringing him along all the time.

This was Nils Asther's first American film for seven years. That was with the film Storm at Daybreak, 1934, MGM, also with Kay Francis. 


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