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Uneven courtroom comedy/drama with early pairing of Ford and Hayworth...
Interesting that Columbia teamed GLENN FORD and RITA HAYWORTH six years before GILDA made them such a hot romantic combination, in a rather tepid courtroom tale that's an uneven mix of comedy and drama and barely allowed the sparks to fly between Ford and Hayworth.
Actually, it's BRIAN AHERNE who gets top billing as the Parisian shop owner who sits in on a murder trial and finds himself falling for "the lady in question". Aherne plays the man as a naively foolish individual who looks forward with childish glee to jury duty--and then manages to convince the others that Rita is not guilty of murder.
EVELYN KEYES plays his equally flighty daughter and IRENE RICH is his sensible wife. GLENN FORD is his attractive and reasonably sensible son.
It soon becomes apparent that all of the courtroom scenes are going to be played for comedy rather than drama. LLOYD CORRIGAN and GEORGE COULOURIS play opposing lawyers with comic skill and CURT BOIS does an amusing job as a fellow juror who takes an instant dislike to Aherne when he's accidentally splashed with water and then becomes his amusing adversary for the rest of the story.
But the spotlight is mainly on BRIAN AHERNE and he easily walks off with the film as the bumbling shop owner who begins to think that perhaps he shouldn't have talked the other jurors into freeing Rita, after she has an affair with his son whom he finds has stolen some money in order to leave with her. Aherne had a flair for comedy that is really given the spotlight here.
There's a clever plot twist at the end in which Aherne realizes how wrong he's been about everything.
RITA HAYWORTH shows promise in a rather uninteresting role that doesn't allow her to do more than look like a decorative leading lady and GLENN FORD is clearly not yet the movie star he would become. Both have relatively minor roles compared to Aherne.
Summing up: Interesting oddity is strange mixture of comedy and drama.
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