This is a story about family relationships, set in the time before and during the American Civil War. Ethan Wilkins is a poor and honest man who ministers to the human soul, while his son ... See full summary »
Kay is a girl living in a small rural town whose life is just too dull and repetitious to bear. One night, she meets young, handsome, and rich Bob Dakin, who asks her for directions while ... See full summary »
With the help of his mechanic buddy, an engineer, and the company's attractive new publicist, an automotive test driver struggles to develop a new carburetor by entering cars in the Indy 500 and speed trials at California's Muroc Dry Lake.
Jimmy, the owner of a failed music shop, goes to work with his uncle, the owner of a food factory. Before he gets there, he befriends an Irish family who happens to be his uncle's worst ... See full summary »
The Roth family leads a quiet life in a small village in the German Alps during the early 1930s. When the Nazis come to power, the family is divided and Martin Brietner, a family friend is caught up in the turmoil.
Sailor Ted meets at the Lonely Hearts Club of his friend Gunny's wife, Jenny, a girl, Nora Paige, and falls in love. Nora wants to become a dancer on Broadway. Ted rescues the Pekinese of ... See full summary »
Roy Del Ruth
Discovery by Flo Ziegfeld changes a girl's life but not necessarily for the better, as three beautiful women find out when they join the spectacle on Broadway: Susan, the singer who must ... See full summary »
Detective Guy Johnson's client, Willie Heywood is framed for murder and while Guy hides him so he can catch the real killer, both of them are nabbed by the police, tried, convicted and sentenced to jail -- Guy for a year, Willie to be executed. On the way to jail Guy comes across a clue and escapes from the police... Written by
Ron Kerrigan <email@example.com>
This film's initial telecasts took place in Philadelphia Thursday 17 January 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6) and in Seattle Friday 18 January 1957 on KING (Channel 5), followed by Chicago 4 February 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2), by Portland OR 20 February 1957 on KGW (Channel 8), by Phoenix 24 February 1957 on KPHO (Channel 5), by Syracuse 26 February 1957 on WHEN (Channel 8), and by Altoona PA 27 February 1957 on WFBG (Channel 10); it first aired in Los Angeles 21 March 1958 on KTTV (Channel 11) and in New York City 5 August 1958 on WCBS (Channel 2). In San Francisco it was first seen 7 June 1960 on KGO (Channel 7) and in Minneapolis 5 December 1960 on WTCN (Channel 11). See more »
All of the newspapers shown in the film share many of the same articles, with the same headlines and typefaces, despite being in different newspapers and spread across several weeks. See more »
Claudette Colbert shines in this little-known comedy with Jimmy Stewart
Although the title doesn't say much about the film, IT'S A WONDERFUL WORLD (1939) is basically a screwball comedy about a detective on the lam and on the case. It's pretty funny, with great performances by Claudette Colbert and Guy Kibbee, and it's a story centered around murder, crime, evading the police, etc.
(The film's title comes from a line in a poem written by Colbert's character and has little, if anything, to do with the movie's plot.)
James Stewart, still early in his illustrious career, plays a private detective who is wrongfully accused and escapes on his way to prison. He thinks he can crack the case, if the cops don't catch up with him first. He is joined by Colbert's character and the two of them try to elude the police manhunt.
Stewart's character is a little different from the roles for which he's best known. As a detective he's rougher and more cynical than viewers would expect of Stewart. As always, his performance is solid. There's one part of the film when he wears a scout's master disguise, complete with silly thick-lensed eyeglasses. Some of the physical comedy stemming from the character's visual impairment is gold. It's cool to see Stewart star in a detective comedy.
Colbert is very good in this film as well, playing Stewart's accomplice. She's eager to help Stewart's character, even when he'd rather be rid of her. (She does her darndest to disprove Stewart's theory that all women are dumb.) Colbert was a seasoned Hollywood star by the time this film was made (she'd won an Oscar for 1934's IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT) and her performance is top-notch.
Key supporting roles go to Guy Kibbee as Stewart's partner and Nat Pendleton as the police sergeant on Stewart's trail. Kibbee has some scene-stealing moments in the movie's final act. A young Hans Conried (perhaps best known for his voice work as Captain Hook, Snidely Whiplash, and Horton the Elephant) has a brief role as the stage manager at the Saugerties theater.
A lot of talent worked on this rather obscure comedy. James Stewart and Claudette Colbert starred. W.S. Van Dyke directed. The great Ben Hecht wrote the screenplay. It seems like a recipe for success, but for whatever reason IT'S A WONDERFUL WORLD is not well-remembered nowadays. (It's probably overshadowed by Stewart's other "wonderful" film, 1946's IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE.) I think it's a nice little comedy with some big names. It has its moments and it's pretty funny. It probably won't blow you away, but it's worth checking out if it's on TCM or something.
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