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In Name Only

4.8 out of 5 stars 76 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Alec Walker's wife Maida is a beauty, but she's also a venomous, self-absorbed schemer. Then Alec falls for an open-hearted widow named Julie. And Maida turns wedding vows into a steel trap: If Alec files for divorce, she'll drag Julie into court as a homewrecker - and use Julie's little daughter as a witness. In one of their rare screen pairings, movie greats Cary Grant and Carole Lombard portray Alec and Julie in a tender, emotion-laden tale that ranks among the era's great romantic melodramas. While vindictive Maida (Kay Francis in a bravura turn) treats love like war, Alec and Julie treat love like love, displaying the warmth and deep devotion of a couple meant for each other...but who may be kept forever apart.

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Product Details

  • Actors: Carole Lombard, Cary Grant, Kay Francis, Charles Coburn, Helen Vinson
  • Directors: John Cromwell
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Warner Archive
  • DVD Release Date: November 2, 2011
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0058K5SD6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,716 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
Generally, I am not a big fan of "mushy romantic movies." This, however, is one of the few romantic movies I really enjoy. It is very sweet, charming, and for the most part believable, mainly because of the great performances of the two stars, Cary Grant and Carole Lombard.
Essentially, In Name Only is the story of a debonair and wealthy man named Alec Walker(Cary Grant) stuck in a loveless marriage with a woman interested only in her husband's social position and money (Kay Francis, in another excellent performance). When he meets innocent and sweet Julie Eden (Carole Lombard), Alec decides to divorce his wife and remarry. The evil wife, however, has no intention of allowing her husband to leave her without money and influence.
Although this movie could easily have been too sentimental, it is saved by the wonderful performances of the stars. Ironically enough, Grant and Lombard, the greatest screwball comedians of the era, were only together in this one movie - which is a serious drama, not a screwball comedy. Still, Grant and Lombard's wit and talent shine through in this movie, and it is touching and at times quite funny. There are not many strictly romantic movies I would recommend, but this is one of them! It is good for the whole family. So, get this movie and discover a little known gem from 1939.
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Format: VHS Tape
Cary Grant and Carole Lombard both broke out of their comic molds to make a very poignant romance, and the result was unforgettable movie magic. The plot quickly draws you in as the chillingly sinister Kay Francis seeks to thwart the happiness of lovers Grant and Lombard.
It's not just a story about good versus evil, however. This is also a movie about the battles that good people fight within themselves. Lombard convincingly struggles throughout the film with the realization that her love for Grant is going to break up his home. The film's resolution is very satisfying, very believable and undeniably romantic. You must see these two stars playing some of the best roles of their careers.
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Although not a comedy, this is the best Cary Grant movie ever. It draws you in the same way An Affair to Remember does and doesn't let go throguh out the entire movie.

Kay Francis does an amazing job playing the cold mean wife and Carole Lombard is at her best!

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PUT THIS ON DVD
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Format: VHS Tape
I like old black and white movies and I adore the Hollywood stars of the golden era, such as Cary Grant and Carole Lombard. I wish this movie was available in DVD. Maybe soon it will be...

This movie is a romance drama, and I think that both Cary and Carole did a good job. The storyline was well done and believable. Kay Francis co-starred as the conniving, gold-digging wife of Cary who tries to thwart the love of Cary and Carole. In the end though, Kay's character gets her just do.

The imagery and cinematography was crisp and the lighting was very good.

This is not a movie that one sees on a usual basis (on tv or in the video stores), so this would be a nice addition to your classic movie collection at home.
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Format: VHS Tape
*Sept 2011 update- Finally, it's coming out on DVD!! There is a God!! I won't have to look at the DVR copy from TCM I recorded two years ago.
This is one of the best from its time. Pure melodrama. Grant, Lombard and Francis are in their prime here. It is interesting to see how our world viewed marriage and relationships in this era, the late 1930's. The storyline for its time was basic. Man is in a bad marriage (why do these people get together in the first place?). Man meets the right girl but current wife has other plans (his money and his name). Current wife plays every card to stop true love (can't a woman take a hint? He doesn't want you!). Turn of events (usually a tragedy) trips up current wife and destined couple come together.
I just wish that this would come to DVD. I would love to see how this could be remade but given Hollywood's penchant to completely miss the mark on these things, maybe it would be best that it be left alone. Besides I really don't want to see George Clooney leave Catherine Zeta-Jones for Jennifer Aniston. Do you?
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Alec Walker(Cary Grant) is unhappily married to ravishing but money grubbing Maida(Kay Francis). The ice cold Maida married Alec only for his money and doesn't care that the love of her life committed suicide when she jilted him. Alec meets and falls in love with beautiful young widow Julie Eden(Carole Lombard) who is as warm and loving as Maida is cold-blooded and grasping. Their affair becomes a scandal and Alec's rather naive parents(Charles Coburn and Nella Walker), who have been won over by the conniving Maida, take Maida's side. Alec demands a divorce and, being a gentleman, will let Maida file for it. Maida agrees but with a stipulation: she is going to spend the fall in Paris with Alec's parents and will file for it there so as not to become a "gossip holiday for my friends". Alec, who is a bit naive himself, agrees, not suspecting Maida is going to double cross him. Summer turns into winter and Alec and Julie learn from Maida's best friend Suzanne(Helen Vinson in a deliciously catty performance) that Maida never had any intention of divorcing him. You guessed it: in movies like this when all seems hopeless the hero always comes down with pneumoia at a big holiday and Alec does not escape his Hollywood ordained fate. As Alec lies dying in the hospital on Christmas day his doctors tell Julie to lie to him and tell him that Maida has finally consented to a divorce. The hope it gives him will ensure his survival. Maida and Julie have it out at the hospital. Maida tells Julie she doesn't want just Alec's money but his father's too. Alec's parents overhear this and finally wise up. Julie and Mr & Mrs Walker go into Alec's room and Maida is left alone outside.

1939 is considered Hollywood's greatest year. This movie isn't one of the reasons why.
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