A fast-talking Pitchman,Jim Keene, working the con-games on the streets, works himself up into an executive position of a large department store, with the aide of his shill, Mae. But the ... See full summary »
A fast-talking Pitchman,Jim Keene, working the con-games on the streets, works himself up into an executive position of a large department store, with the aide of his shill, Mae. But the owner, Elmer Woods, of the department store has a blonde-beauty daughter, Peggy, who goes to work on him. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Despite a well-deserved Oscar for his performance in 'A Tree Grows in Brooklyn', James Dunn is now almost entirely forgotten. Not quite a romantic leading man, not quite a character actor, Dunn was a downmarket version of Lee Tracy (another actor unjustly forgotten). I always enjoy Dunn on screen, but 'Come Closer, Folks' is one of his weaker efforts. A lacklustre script by hack author Aben Kandel combined with catatonic direction by 'Dross' Lederman (an even worse hack than Kandel) manage to scupper this project quite thoroughly.
SLIGHT SPOILERS. Dunn plays a pavement pitchman who brings his keester into Stone City, Pennsylvania ... largely because he's been chased out of everyplace else. He crosses paths with Marian Marsh, cast as the prim daughter of the local department-store magnate. I fondly remember Marsh for her very sexy performance as Trilby in 'Svengali', but a lot of her sex appeal in that film was down to the beautiful wig she wore. In 'Come Closer, Folks', Marsh has much shorter hair, and she makes her first appearance in eyeglasses ... so we know this is going to be one of those movies in which the prim spinster loses her inhibitions when she loses her glasses. Sure enough.
A few familiar character actors are on hand here -- Harry Depp, Herman Bing (more tangle-tongued than usual), Gene Lockhart as Marsh's dyspeptic father -- but offering absolutely nothing that they haven't done better in a dozen better movies. Viewers who recognise these faces from other films will see them do exactly what's expected here ... and nothing more than the expected. One face that was unfamiliar to me here was that of obscure actor George McKay, who gave a fresh turn as a local yokel fleeced by the fast-talking Dunn.
Eventually, Dunn and Marsh take over Lockhart's department store, and -- of course -- they turn it into a going concern. Dunn's character in this movie is a dodgy drifter, so I found it contrived that he would become successful as soon as a woman takes an interest in him. Purely on the strength of James Dunn's forceful personality, and George McKay's performance, I'll rate this movie 5 out of 10.
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