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The widow Wilson and her daughter Mary have just learned that old Mr. Middleton, who held the mortgage on their home, has passed away. They are now visited by Middleton's lawyer, Cribbs, who informs them that Middleton's son and heir Edward plans to foreclose and take possession of their home. When Mary goes to plead with Edward, she soon discovers that it is really the unscrupulous Cribbs who wants to drive them out of their home. When Mary and Edward become engaged to be married, it looks as if all is well. But the calculating Cribbs has a new plan, which begins with luring young Edward into a lifestyle of drinking and dissipation. Written by
This absurd parody of Victorian melodramas watched in the right frame of mind is very enjoyable. The cast attacks the material with the proper degree of whimsy playing it broadly, the only reasonable approach to something designed to be this silly.
The director and studio were wise to cast character actors with a talent for either farce or slapstick and then give them free rein to dig into the ridiculous situations with aplomb. The biggest surprise is probably Anita Louise, an busy and very lovely actress until her retirement but not especially known for her comedic skills. In this she jumps right into the mood of the proceedings playing a character that can only be described as an imbecile in her naiveté. By playing it straight and never winking at the audience she makes the woman an object of sympathy no matter how dumb she seems.
If you start watching this expecting anything but an overblown bit of ridiculousness you will either be disappointed or irritated.
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