|Index||6 reviews in total|
Harold Peary's title character is a delight. The guy is id personified:
Everything that comes into his mind, he comments on. He says what he
thinks. Or he makes sounds that seem to him appropriate. Kind of like a
His family is very appealing. Freddie Mercer, as his nephew LeRoy, is a likable child actor. In addition, he has a beautiful boy soprano voice. O for the days when children were given voice and music lessons in their homes! (Rich or extraordinarily gifted children still are but this is a precursor to Mayberry, RFD.) Gildersleeve is pursued here by a truly man-crazy woman. We are distracted from this initially because she is the homely, bespectacled spinster daughter of the town judge. But she really likes men.
It's a charming bit of nostalgia.
HAROLD PEARY brings his trademark laugh and distinctive voice to the
screen in the first of the Gildersleeve films starring him in the title
role. It's strictly corny, lowbrow comedy but lots of fun, an
unpretentious little programmer from the early, patriotic '40s.
With a running time of one hour and two minutes, it seems more like a back to back half-hour TV situation comedy in style with the running joke being Gildersleeve's attempt to remain the bachelor guardian of two children and suspected of having marriage plans with the plain spinster mistakenly assumed to be his intended.
Nice support from JANE DARWELL as his efficient Aunt Emma, willing to help Gildersleeve with his household responsibilities and NANCY GATES as one of his charges. Much of the humor springs from Peary's comic skill with slapstick material as he mismanages everything.
CHARLES ARNT as a befuddled and irate Judge Hooker is effective in a supporting role, as is MARY FIELD as his sister, the unattractive spinster.
Anyone familiar with the Gildersleeve of radio fame is sure to enjoy this situation comedy from the Golden Age of B-film programmers.
You don't have to be an old-time radio buff to enjoy films like this.
If you're simply an admirer of good comedy, that's enough.
All the GILDERSLEEVE films made by RKO in the 1940s were thoroughly enjoyable, and this first one of the series was one of the very, very best. Of course it all hangs on Harold Peary's performance as the blustering Throckmorton Gildersleeve and he doesn't disappoint for a single moment. His performance is fresh, original and warm and he brings to the part a believability that rises above the occasional well-handled slapstick interludes. Peary was one of a kind and, as they say, we shall not look upon his like again.
Jane Darwell, fresh from her Oscar-winning performance in John Ford's THE GRAPES OF WRATH, added solid support as Aunt Emma, while the rest of the cast (which included some of the original radio stars) added much to the fun.
This pre-babyboomer piece of Americana is highly recommended for its wit, its charm and its evocation of the better USA that once was. Let's hope Warner Brothers (who now own the RKO films) will get these onto blu-ray or DVD real soon.
The radio show is A-1 and at the top of the heap of Old time Radio and had a cast that was amazing in it's greatness. The movie unfortunately is missing a few beats and cannot live up to the radio version. But you know what? It really doesn't matter much, Gildersleeve is still a delight to watch and there are enough good backup parts to carry the show. The radio show Leroy is not here and that is a major problem. Peavey is here, but he is not much of an actor on the screen. But there is still enough fun and characters to carry us on a charming romp through the days of yore, when fun was fun and it was rate G! I am a big fan of the radio show and also of the television show and I would recommend watching the movies whenever TCM runs them. Usually they run all the movies on the same day, so get your recorders ready.
Great glimpse of small town America, when it and not car crashes was the focus of media entertainment. Gildy's a perfect small town character, right down to his basso profundo grunts, groans, and cackles. Here he's got a feud going with the town judge (Arnt) who's questioning his guardianship of teenage niece (Gates) and singing wonder nephew (Mercer). So naturally, to top his rival, Gildy runs for mayor. I love that little campaign parade down Main Street with a band and majorette, just perfect for a small town. Then too, how is eligible bachelor Gildersleeve going to escape the wiles of husband-hunting Amelia, the judge's sister of all people. She's nothing if not persistent. Anyway, the kids are cute, the plot amusing, plus there's a good whiff of a gentler age unfortunately gone by.
Harold Peary played the good role of Gildersleeve. His laugh was his trademark. He use to be in radio, before coming to movies. In one episode I like was when the bicycle split into going in separate directions and he yelled LeRoy. This was funny. We need more movies of this gender.
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