The Heavenly Body (1944)

the heavenly body 1944

Except for one unnecessary over the top scene this is a pleasant comedy about an astronomer whose marriage is in trouble after his wife sees an astrologer. William Powell and Hedy Lamarr are fun to watch.

Professor Bill Whitley (William Powell) has discovered a new comet that’s going to hit the Moon. His work keeps him away from home at night and his wife Vicki (Hedy Lamarr) is tired of being ignored. With the encouragement of her across the street neighbor Nancy Potter (Spring Byington) she goes to astrologer Margaret Sibyll.

Bill thinks astrology is ridiculous but Vicki is a believer after she gets her horoscope. It says something important is going to happen to her. Bill tears up the forecast. A couple weeks late Vicki goes to the Mount Jefferson Observatory where Bill is working on his speech for the night of the comets collision.

She tells him she’s leaving him for a man who really loves her. Then she admits she hasn’t met him yet. Bill laughs it off. He’s not amused when she throws him out of their bedroom. Bill moves into the observatory. Vicki calls him and finally says she thinks Sibyll is a fake since no man has shown up.

Bill heads for home. Before he gets there the local air raid warden, Lloyd X.Hunter (James Craig) tells Vicki she has a light that’s been burning all night. She thinks it’s midnight and so much for her horoscope. Then Lloyd points out her clock is fast. That convinces her Lloyd is the man of her dreams. Vicki says she has trouble sleeping and he gives her some sleeping pills from his first aid kit.

Bill gets home and doesn’t notice Vicki’s interest in Lloyd. The next day Lloyd shows up. He says he left his first aid kit there last night.  Lloyd gets surprise when Bill tells him Vicki’s plan to make him her next husband. He agrees to change his route. That doesn’t last long as he says he’s smitten with Vicki and is going to go after her.

It’s Bill’s big night but he’s shook up over Vicki and Lloyd. Professor Stowe forces him to get in his car and go to the observatory. Astronomers and press from all over the world are waiting for him. On the way Bill jumps out of the car. Stowe tells someone to make Bill’s speech for him. Bill gets there in time.

Back home Vicki leaves a note and says she’s going to their mountain cabin. Bill panics when Pearl the maid reads it to him.  In a plan to get Lloyd out of the way he had called Lloyd’s chief and told him a light was burning in their mountain cabin and Lloyd should get out there and patrol.

Bill fumbles through his speech as the comet makes contact with the Moon. He goes to a telescope on the balcony and looks at the cabin. Lloyd just got there. Bill takes off. When he gets there a fire is lit and he hears Vicki laughing and the sound of a guitar. It’s a cozy scene between Vicki and Lloyd. Vicki says it means they were meant to be together.

Bill has a plan. He steals Vicki’s weekly horoscope from the mail and writes a new one that predicts doom. Vicki calls Sibyll to confirm it. She doesn’t know Bill is there threatening Sibyll and her secretary. He tells them he knows a secret about her and he might bring in the FBI. He fakes a phone call and is really talking to a Russian run dog and cat hospital.

The movie sinks with a beyond stupidity sequence at Bill and Vicki’s house. The place is loaded with Russians and a case of vodka with the ensuing mayhem.

After that the movie gets back on track. With that one exception listed above the movie is well worth checking out.

Hedy Lamarr-William Powell

Hedy Lamarr-William Powell

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About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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