"Chick" Thompson is a puppet-master in a traveling carnival whose wife dies in childbirth and leaves him with an infant son he names "Poochy." His father-in-law and the baby's grandfather ...
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"Chick" Thompson is a puppet-master in a traveling carnival whose wife dies in childbirth and leaves him with an infant son he names "Poochy." His father-in-law and the baby's grandfather sues him for custody of the baby and Chick takes his son and hides out for a couple of years. He joins his former assistants, Daisy and "Fingers", in a circus act only to find that the persistent grandfather is still on his trail. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
A potentially lachrymose subject receives racy 1930s treatment courtesy of screenwriter Robert Riskin, tailored to fast-talking stars Lee Tracy and Jimmy Durante. The film begins with a funny and unexpected opening sequence involving Tracy's marionette act. Equally unexpected is the sudden tragic turn leaving Tracy holding the baby after his wife dies in childbirth. More predictably, Tracy is so slow on the uptake that right under his nose his besotted professional partner Sally Eilers would be an ideal mother for his boy that by the end of the film you're practically willing her to crown him with a frying pan; and you really wonder if he actually deserves her.
The film goes into some detail about the state of maternity care during the 1930s, and continues to confound expectations with a hair raising action finale shot in vividly 'cinema-verite' style by cameraman Allen G. Siegler. A large supporting cast includes Lucille Ball as a nurse who ends up accidentally kissing Jimmy Durante in a darkened room. Durante himself naturally has the showiest part and gets most of the laughs as Tracy's eternal friend in need.
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