The Goose and the Gander

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Original title The Goose and the Gander
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1935
length 65 minutes
Director Alfred E. Green
script Charles Kenyon
production Warner Brothers
music Bernhard Kaun
camera Sid Hickox
cut Bert L'Orle

The Goose and the Gander is an American comedy from 1935 with the on-screen couple Kay Francis and George Brent in the lead roles.


The film is a complex story about several people who spend the weekend together in the country. The characters involved are a married couple with emotional problems, the wife's easy-going sister, the husband's charming best friend, the wife's ex-husband, and the husband's former lover. There are also two jewel thieves. At the beginning of the plot, the wife hears that the former girlfriend wants to relax her husband. She decides to teach the lady a lesson and starts an intrigue herself. In the end, the wife ends up in jail with her new lover and is accused of stealing her own jewelry.


Kay Francis had moved from Paramount to Warner Brothers in 1932 and quickly became a popular actress in dramatic love stories. In most of her films, the actress suffered from an ungracious fate and had to endure endless emotional entanglements until the happy ending. The mostly female fans admired Francis for her ability to act calmly and prudently, even in troubled moments, while always looking elegant. The Goose and the Gander was one of the few excursions into the comedic field and a welcome change after the last, mostly highly dramatic roles. Director Alfred E. Green had already worked with Francis in I Loved a Woman 1933. He was one of the studio's in-house directors and delivered films in almost every genre that were professionally produced. Here he succeeds in staging the sometimes lightning-fast twists in the highly complex plot neatly and intelligently. The film was a commercial success, and Francis was the second most popular Warner-Brother star by the end of the year , according to Variety . The studio showed satisfaction by leaving Francis a new cloakroom with four rooms and a fireplace.


Most of the critics praised the sometimes rapid pace and the funny situations.

Kind words of benevolence could be read in the New York Times :

“The plot is so devilishly tricky that you can't look away for a second to light a cigarette or have a quick chat. If you do it, it takes five minutes to get back to history. "

The LA Evening Herrald Express even wanted to see parallels with Noël Coward :

“Not since 'Private Lives' has such a rapid marital farce been seen on the screen. [...]. Director Al Green made it a lot of fun. He deserves special praise for his surprising ideas and the way he keeps half a dozen characters going. [...] Kay Francis is quite amusing as a heroine. "

Theatrical release

The production cost of $ 245,000 was below the average the studio invested in a Kay Francis film of the period. At the box office, The Goose and the Gander proved to be reasonably popular, grossing $ 329,000 in the United States, plus foreign revenues of $ 177,000, resulting in a cumulative box office of $ 506,000.

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  1. The narrative is so deviously complex that if you stop to light a cigarette or talk to your neighbor it requires five minutes to reorient yourself in its labyrinthine ways.
  2. The screen hasn't enjoyed such a delightful farce and martial mix-up since Private Lives. [...]. What a lot of fun director Al Green has made of it, too. He deserves special praise for his surprise maneuvers and the manner in which he kept the half-dozen main characters revolving in a circle of amusing incidents […] Kay Francis is quite lovely as the heroine and fixer-upper.