Saturday, April 7, 2012


MISBEHAVING HUSBANDS had Harry Langdon in it. And a blonde dummy named "Carole".

But which Carole was it?

Was it Carole Lombard?

Or Carole Landis?

Misbehaving Husbands
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Misbehaving Husbands

Henry (Harry Langdon) and "Carole" (1940), in Misbehaving Husbands
Directed byWilliam Beaudine
Produced byJed Buell
Written byCea Sabin (story)
Vernon Smith (screenplay) and
Claire Parrish (screenplay)
StarringHarry Langdon
Betty Blythe
Ralph Byrd
Esther Muir
CinematographyArthur Reed
Editing byRobert O. Crandall
Distributed byProducers Releasing Corporation
Release date(s)December 20, 1940 (1940-12-20)
Running time65 minutes
CountryUnited States
Misbehaving Husbands is a 1940 American film directed by William Beaudine.

Plot summary

Absent-minded department store owner Henry Butler, Harry Langdon, ends up working late, and missing the surprise anniversary party thrown by his wife, Effie, Betty Blythe.
Trying to get away from work, he ends up being seen with a mannequin, which he is trying to get repaired. Their friends who see it, think it’s a blonde girl. Others call the police, reporting a murdered woman.
Henry gets picked up by the police; but, his troubles are just starting. Effie has overheard the gossip; and, files for a divorce, urged on by her friend, Grace Norman, Esther Muir, and her unscrupulous lawyer, Gilbert Wayne, Gayne Whitman.
When Effie decides to stop the divorce, a little scene staged by the lawyer, with his girlfriend, Nan, Florence Wright, posing as the blonde, Henry was supposedly seeing, convinces her otherwise.
It is only then, that her niece Jane, Luana Walters, and her friend, Bob Grant, Bob Byrd, notice that the shoe Henry brought back that night is about a size four. Henry drags the mannequin, Carole (for Carole Lombard), all over town; only to meet the police, and Effie, waiting for him; and, her lawyer, at Home.[1]

Luana Walters and Ralph Byrd (1940), in Misbehaving Husbands



Harry Langdon, Betty Blythe, and Esther Muir, among others in the cast, were stars, in silent films; and, this is a fun chance to see them working.
Some of the material might be considered slapstick; and, dated; but, it’s still fun; and, these old pros know how to handle it.[2]


Effie to Jane: "I'm going to get tight!" [3]
Bob to Jane: "You've been reading too many detective stories." (Ralph Byrd played Detective Dick Tracy, in four movie serials and two feature films, from 1937 to 1947, and on television.)[4]
Henry: "All this, fuss, over one, little shoe!"


External links

Esther Muir more or less replaced Thelma Todd with the Marx Brothers in the movie A DAY AT THE RACES. But she doesn't seem to have been in silent movies. Just a mess.

Esther Muir in frame enlargement from MISBEHAVING HUSBANDS.


Ralph Byrd in MISBEHAVING HUSBANDS. Ralph Byrd is best known for playing "Dick Tracy" in movies and on television. Another element that might be related to mystery stories is the use of the name "Effie" for Betty Blythe's character. Sam Spade's secretary was named Effie.

Betty Bythe was a star in the silent era and starred in SHE, based on H. Rider Haggard's classic story.
And I think the "Carole" business might be because of Carole Landis, rather than Carole Lombard. The dummy looks tall, and Carole Landis was taller than Carole Lombard.

 Harry Langdon had been working at the Roach studio as a writer, and Carole Landis was also at that same studio prior to the release of MISBEHAVING HUSBANDS.

So I would tend to associate Harry Langdon more with Carole Landis than Carole Lombard. Of course, calling the dummy "Carole" could have been somebody else's idea. But Harry Langdon did have a history of contributing ideas to other films prior to this one.

Harry Langdon's work as a writer in this period, mostly at the Roach studio:
1941Road Show
1940Saps at Sea(original story and screenplay)
1940Goodness, a Ghost (short)
1940A Chump at Oxford(original story and screen play)
1939The Flying Deuces(original story and screen play)
1938Sue My Lawyer (short) (story)
1938Block-Heads(original story and screen play)

ROAD SHOW was actually a Carole Landis movie, but it wasn't made until after MISBEHAVING HUSBANDS.

There have been allegations that there was some sort of  rivalry between Carole Lombard and Carole Landis, one version having it that they were fighting over Clark Gable. A niece of Carole Landis had this to say:

No, they never met. Carole Landis was a huge Lombard fan and had her picture plastered all over her bedroom wall when she was a child. That’s why she chose the stage name Carole. Some sources say she actually chose Carol out of a phone book and then added the “e” to be like Lombard. There is a quote Carole gave when a reporter told her they looked alike – “If I look like Miss Lombard – and I don’t – please spare her the humiliation.”

SCREEN GUIDE, April 1941

Watch MISBEHAVING HUSBANDS on the internet:

Official Site For Carole Landis:

Landis Versus Lombard ( Carole Lombard Site ):

My Fan Club For Carole Landis:

Official Harry Langdon Site:

Esther Muir at wikipedia:

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