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The Wiggs family plan to celebrate Thanksgiving in their rundown shack with leftover stew, without Mr. Wiggs who wandered off long ago an has never been heard from. Do-gooder Miss Lucy brings them a real feast. Her boyfriend Bob arranges to take Wiggs' sick boy to a hospital. Their other boy makes some money peddling kindling and takes the family to a show. Mrs. Wiggs is called to the hopsital just in time to see her boy die. Her neighbor Miss Mazy wants to marry Mr. Stubbins who insists on tasting her cooking. Mrs. Wiggs sneaks her dishes past Stubbins who agrees to marriage. Mr. Wiggs appears suddenly, in tatters, with just the amount of money (twenty dollars) needed to save the family from foreclosure. Miss Lucy and Bob get married. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Everyone wants a Cabbage Patch Review for Christmas...
I enjoy this movie immensely. You don't have to think, you can just sit and laugh, or cry, or whatever it makes you feel like doing. I laugh, simply because I am not a teary person.
This film stars Pauline Lord as Mrs. Wiggs, a woman who lives in a quaint almost-slum. If my memory serves me correctly, Pauline Lord was an established Broadway actress who played this role on the stage. She has it down pat, that's for sure. The main problem I had with her performance, and it's a small problem, is that she tends to be a little too soft-spoken. Seeing as my copy isn't very good quality, there were long stretches when her mouth was moving and I didn't hear anything. Then I turned up the volume on my TV--problem solved. Honestly, I thought she did a marvelous job...she defines the word "heartwarming." That sounds ridiculous, I know, but I just love her in this. I've never seen her in anything else, so perhaps this was one of those "Bring the Broadway star to relive her greatest triumph" things, like Shirley Booth.
The best thing about this little movie, at least in my opinion, is ZaSu Pitts. She was a great dramatic actress until sound came in, when her singsong monotone undermined her ability. It's displayed to good advantage here. Her first line in the movie is an example. She says something along the lines of "Animals just seem to run out from under me like chickens from under a hen." The way she says it just kills me. I feel bad for her though, losing her star status simply because she sounded like a bored tea kettle. Fortunately, though, one element of her silent screen acting remains. The character she plays, Miss Hazy (whom Mrs. Wiggs introduces to everyone as the maiden lady from next door), is a very flighty, nervous person, as spinsters are rumored to be. When she goes through her "book of sweethearts" and gets caught, her hands flutter about like panicked butterflies. She's being awkward in an extremely graceful way--it's difficult to explain. Miss Hazy finally gets her wish when her husband arrives, in the portly form of W.C. Fields. (Does "W.C." stand for "water closet," you think?) She probably regrets wishing, one has to think.
The children in the film are suitably saccharine, but Virginia Weidler (from "The Philadelphia Story") is as obnoxious as kids come. She taunts Miss Hazy by holding her breath, saying "I'll turn black in the face!" The other children were played by people I didn't recognize. Billy, one of the two boys, is the "man" of the family, and acts as such. He isn't above showing emotion though, as he cries with the best of them. Also of note is the awfully sway-backed horse Billy is given. That animal looked as though he'd had a rough life, but Mrs. Wiggs has a magic touch. The scene where they revive the almost dead horse is amusing, with Mrs. Wiggs telling the children to cheer for him but warning them against "overyelling." If they yell too loudly, they might tip him over and then they'd never get him up again. Once he's finally on his feet, Mrs. Wiggs and Miss Hazy hold him up until they're sure he can stand upright.
All in all, a cute little movie. That's the word for it--cute. If you don't like sweet little greeting cards from yesteryear, then this isn't your thing.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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