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That Uncertain Feeling


Against her better judgement, happily married Jill Baker (Merle Oberon) is persuaded to see a popular psychoanalyst about her psychosomatic hiccups

That Uncertain Feeling is a 1941 comedy film directed by Ernst Lubitsch and starring Merle Oberon, Melvyn Douglas and Burgess Meredith. The film is about the bored wife of an insurance salesman who meets an eccentric pianist and seeks a divorce. The screenplay by Walter Reisch and Donald Ogden Stewart was based on the 1880 French play Divorçons by Victorien Sardou and Émile de Najac. The film was a failure at the box office.


At the suggestion of one of her friends, Jill Baker (Merle Oberon) visits psychoanalyst Dr. Vengard (Alan Mowbray) for her intermittent hiccups, which appear when she gets nervous or irritated. He soon has her questioning her previously happy marriage to her business executive husband Larry (Melvyn Douglas).
In Vengard's waiting room one day, Jill meets a very odd and individualistic pianist, Alexander Sebastian (Burgess Meredith). He considers himself the best in the world when playing for a single listener, but has trouble performing in front of a large audience. She eventually invites him to an important dinner for Larry's prospective insurance buyers. When Larry realizes that Jill is infatuated with Sebastian, he gives her a friendly divorce, in which Larry is represented by a lawyer named Jones (Harry Davenport) whose secretary is Sally Aikens (Eve Arden).
Jill gets engaged to Sebastian, but after she learns that Larry is seeing an attractive woman, she realizes that she still loves her ex-husband. When she tries to reconcile with him, he pretends that Sally Aikens, Jones' secretary, is in the other room. His deception is revealed when Sally enters the apartment while he is in the next room breaking a dinner date, supposedly with the distraught Sally (her supposed cries of anguish voiced by Larry). Jill and Larry get back together, and the hiccups vanish forever.


  • Merle Oberon as Jill Baker
  • Melvyn Douglas as Larry Baker
  • Burgess Meredith as Alexander Sebastian
  • Alan Mowbray as Dr. Vengard
  • Olive Blakeney as Margie Stallings, Jill's friend
  • Harry Davenport (actor) as Jones, Larry's lawyer
  • Sig Ruman as Mr. Kafka, Larry's prospective client
  • Eve Arden as Sally Aikens
  • Richard Carle as The Butler

Award and honors

Werner R. Heymann was nominated for an Academy Award for Original Music Score.

See also

  • Let's Get a Divorce (1918)
  • Kiss Me Again (1925 film) (1925)

Category:1941 films
Category:1940s romantic comedy films
Category:American films
Category:American romantic comedy films
Category:American screwball comedy films
Category:Black-and-white films
Category:Comedy of remarriage films
Category:English-language films
Category:Films based on plays
Category:Films based on works by Victorien Sardou
Category:Films directed by Ernst Lubitsch
Category:Films set in New York City
Category:United Artists films
Ernst Lubitsch, Sol Lesser

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