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Los Angeles newspaper reporter Toby Prentiss is continually in trouble with his editor. He is demoted to running the paper's "Miss Lonelyhearts" advice column because he missed the scoop on a major earthquake whilst out on the town. Determined to be fired from the column he starts to give crazy advice to the readers, but this only makes him even more popular. Written by
Col Needham <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A great opening to this movie with a Chamber of Commerce type who is giving a radio program enthusiastically praising how wonderful it is to live in California: no hurricanes, floods, snow storms or tornadoes - it' always sunny and beautiful. Just then, an earthquake hits. It's a big news story but one that reporter Toby Prentiss misses reporting on because he's recovering from a hangover. His boss is none too pleased and demotes Prentiss to writing the "Miss Lonleyhearts" column. Prentiss figures he'll force his boss to fire him by giving wacky and scandalous advice to those who write letters in. Even though his advice verges on being on being mean and uncaring (even if funny) the column becomes a big hit. At first Prentiss is chagrined but quickly realizes he can make a lot of money out of his new fame. He gleefully accepts money from a corrupt drug store owner who sells cut- rate and diluted drugs. All goes well until Prentiss' mother dies because of diluted medicine Prentiss bought at one of these drug stores. This is a highly entertaining movie that goes from a lighthearted and snappy comedy to a crusading drama. The cast is superb especially the fast talking, wise cracking (what else?) Lee Tracy. Tracy is one of my favorite actors and he does a stellar job here, even in the dramatic scenes. Also of note are the performances of Sterling Holloway as his usual doofus character, C. Gordon Henry as his usual slimy and corrupt businessman and Paul Harvey as his usual solid and occasionally blustering character. Also as usual, Sally Blane really doesn't have much of a strong screen presence but she does well with the rather bland role she has been given. Highly recommended.
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