Timid milkman, Burleigh Sullivan (Lloyd), somehow knocks out a boxing champ in a brawl. The fighter's manager decides to build up the milkman's reputation in a series of fixed fights and ... See full summary »
Among the horses stable hands Stanley and Oliver are tending is a thoroughbred named "Blue Boy." But when they overhear two men talking about a $5000 reward for the return of the stolen "... See full summary »
Sam Clayton has a good heart and likes to help out people in need. In fact, he likes to help them out so much that he often finds himself broke and unable to help his own family buy the things they need--like a house.
A few moments before Charley is going to marry, a "friend", who is jealous, gives him an anonymous note, stating that the bride has a wooden leg. Charley cancels the wedding, but agrees to ... See full summary »
Charley is afraid of dogs, and one chases him into a phone box, which a stuffy aristocrat has just left to get more change, to continue the phone call with his fiancée, who is being forced ... See full summary »
Jamison has a very jealous wife. Mrs. Jamison has a very gossipy friend. When the friend spots Jamison on the street talking to an attractive young woman, she reports back to Mrs. Jamison ... See full summary »
Leo McCarey spent much of his sound career trying to make movies that were serious, sentimental and funny. They reflected his issues as a good son of the Church who never let his concern for his immortal soul interfere with his pleasures. By the time he directed RUGGLES OF RED GAP -- in which Charles Laughton's recitation of the Gettysburg Address is the highlight -- he knew how to play the audience. Whether it was Barry Fitzgerald's 900-year-old mother toddling in from the Ould Sod, faith and begorrah, or the gang of freckle-faced street toughs who sing for Deborah Kerr, because she's from Boston and crippled when she got run over by a cab rushing to meet Cary Grant, we know we're being pandered to. We start bawling anyway, because we're suckers. Usually. Occasionally I reach the point where I echo Dorothy Parker's review of THE HOUSE AT POOH CORNER: "Tonstant Weader fwow up."
Here he is in his inchoate form, just after he he left Hal Roach, trying his hand at a serious subject (a breaking marriage, as Edmund Lowe's constant bad temper drives professional golfer wife Leila Hyams away), sentiment ( a mongrel dog owned by the caddy with whom Lowe bonds runs away and winds up in the pound, about to be gassed) and funny -- well, nothing comes to mind. While Leila Hyams is very good and Lowe is adequate, the third member of this trinity is Tommy Clifford as the Irish orphan who caddies for Lowe, and owns the dog which rises from the dead to restore faith, and he is awful.
It's not that writer-director McCarey panders to us. We know he's going to do that, but he leads us up the garden path so clumsily and obviously. We know that, like a modern politician, he doesn't even feel the need to work up a convincing story to cover his multitudes of cinematic sins. He can't even direct dialogue yet!
The excellent cinematography is by George Schneiderman, a warhorse cameraman for Fox in the 1920s. He started out in the teens shooting Theda Bara movies, worked on some fine Borzage and John Ford movies, then faded after Darryl Zanuck took over. PIty.
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