H. M. Pulham, Esq.

Director: King Vidor
Year Released: 1941
Rating: 2.0

Businessman - who leads a neat, orderly and routine existence - experiences a midlife crisis while meeting up with some of his classmates from Harvard and afterwards daydreaming about 'the one that got away' (Hedy Lamarr). A wonderful premise rife with infinite potential, Vidor instead focuses almost entirely on the failed Lamarr romance and how 'fate' steers the title character towards the woman he is 'supposed' to marry. Due to the inherent predictability and single-mindedness of this cinematic decision, the movie never really gets into the other aspects of this man's life (he's not the most interesting 'character' to make a lead in a movie), and because we're told how his life will turn out from the beginning what remains is too ordinary - and too slowly paced - to sustain interest.