Bill & Sally Reardon

Created by Gladys Lehman and Wilson Collison

In the screwball thriller There's Always a Woman (1938, Columbia), BILL REARDON (Melvyn Douglas) quits his posh job an investigator with the District Attorney's office to open up his own detective agency at the urging of his pushy but ditzy wife SALLY REARDON (Joan Blondell).

But the agency never quite turns a profit, and William decides to go back to work for the DA.

However, as Sally is closing up the office, in struts Mrs. Fraser (Mary Astor), some high society dame who thinks her husband is cheating on her with his ex-wife, who's also remarried. Sally figures it's easy money, so she poses as "Operative 7" and accepts the case, figuring then she can then persuade her husband to keep the agency going.

But when the client's husband is murdered (you knew this was coming, right?), Sally decides to investigate, unaware her husband has just been assigned to the same case by the D.A. Complications and hilarity purportedly ensue in this, the first of a proposed series featuring the competing married sleuths (any similarities to MGM's super successful The Thin Man series were probably coincidental, right?).

The first film did pretty well, but Blondell, having recently given birth, was unable to appear in the sequel, There's That Woman Again (1939), so Virginia Bruce took on the role of Sally.

Unfortunately it was the last of the series.


  • Look for Rita Hayworth in a very brief cameo in There's Always a Woman as a secretary.


  • "There's Always a Woman" (1937, American Magazine; by Wilson Collison)


    (1938, Columbia)
    81 minutes
    Black & white
    Based on a story by Wilson Collison
    Screenplay by Gladys Lehman
    Uncredited: Phillip Rapp, Morrie Ryskind, Joel Sayre
    Directed by Alexander Hall
    Starring Joan Blondell as SALLY REARDON
    and Melvyn Douglas as BILL REARDON
    Also starring Mary Astor, Frances Drake, Jerome Cowan, Robert Paige

    (1939, Columbia)
    72 minutes
    Black & white
    Based on a play by Gladys Lehman and Wilson Collison
    Screenplay by Ken Englund, Philip G. Epstein, James Edward Grant
    Directed by Alexander Hall
    Starring Virginia Bruce as SALLY REARDON
    and Melvyn Douglas as BILL REARDON
    Also starring Margaret Lindsay, Stanley Ridges, Gordon Oliver, Tom Dugan, Don Beddoe

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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