Never Say Goodbye
Flynn plays Phil Gayley, a famous pin-up illustrator a la Vargas, whose wandering eye has prompted his mother-in-law to get his wife Ellen (Eleanor Parker) to divorce him. The result is that their daughter Flip is shuttled from one parent to the other every six months. This may be an old premise - and we all know they'll end up back together - but just HOW is often the worthwhile factor, and predicaments in this movie ARE a lot of fun despite occasional lameness.
First, you have Phil's current model, a pushy blonde (played by Peggy Knudsen) who is annoyed with Phil's revived interest in his former wife. Then you have Flip, who has done her part in the war effort by sending amorous letters to Marine Fenwick Lonkowski (Forrest Tucker) along with a pinup of mommy, only to have him show up on their doorstep for the holidays. These elements and - Phil's fatal sense of timing - persist in discouraging Ellen where mother-in-law and her intended suitor fail.
True, some gags fall flat, and some are too impossible to be taken seriously (like Phil's Bogey getup used to intimidate Fenwick), but enough of them succeed. Flynn running around their house as Santa is pretty funny; it's amazing what you can get someone to do when they're in disguise.
NEVER SAY GOODBYE proved once again that Flynn had a knack for comedic roles; it's a pity the studio barely bothered to put that ability to better use. And Patti Brady does such a great job as Flip, a kid who appears to know more than she should for someone her age (which one might expect from a nice little girl brought up with Phil/Errol for a daddy). The chemistry between Brady and Flynn is natural and appealing.
It is interesting to note that when Phil uses the Bogey act to try to drive Fenwick from his former wife's home, the mustache is removed. This sequence was obviously shot last, with ESCAPE ME NEVER to be filmed soon after, also with Eleanor Parker in the cast.
This movie is available on video from MGM/UA in glorious B+W.
All original contents (writing, graphics) ęD.David
and may not be used without permission