Brick, an alcoholic ex-football player, drinks his days away and resists the affections of his wife, Maggie. His reunion with his father, Big Daddy, who is dying of cancer, jogs a host of memories and revelations for both father and son.
Against all odds Father Flanagan starts "Boys' Town" after hearing a convict's story. Whitey Marsh comes there. He runs away but, hungry, returns. He runs away again but, when friend Pee ... See full summary »
Mae Doyle comes back to her hometown a cynical woman. Her brother Joe fears that his love, fish cannery worker Peggy, may wind up like Mae. Mae marries Jerry and has a baby; she is happy but restless, drawn to Jerry's friend Earl.
The trials and tribulations of the Winfield family in small town Indiana as Marjorie Winfield's boyfriend, William Sherman, returns from the Army after W.W.I. Bill & Marjorie's on-again, ... See full summary »
Chronic gambler and carouser "Little" Joe Jackson is shot by Domino Johnson at Jim Henry's gambling club over an outstanding gambling debt. Little Joe's wife, the God-fearing Petunia Jackson, prays not only for her husband's mortal life, but also his eternal soul as she's afraid that if he dies now, he, despite not being an evil man, won't make it into heaven. As Little Joe is close to death, he is visited by agents of both the Lord and of Lucifer. They make a deal with him: they will give him six months to atone for the errors of his human life. Once back on Earth, he won't remember the deal but both the Lord and Lucifer will be watching over him, trying to get him to see things their way. As both sides try to get Little Joe's soul, they figure that some of the most powerful tools they have at their disposal are the women in Little Joe's life: Petunia on behalf of the Lord, and Georgia Brown, a gold-digging floozy, on behalf of Lucifer. As hard as both the Lord and Lucifer try to get... Written by
Apart from the "Shine" sequence, this was Vincente Minnelli's first sole directing assignment. Minnelli had been directing on Broadway, which gave this film a feel that had nothing of the typical "Hollywood Studio System" in it. See more »
During the nightclub fight between Domino Johnson and Little Joe, the gunshot he fires accidentally hits Petunia. She falls down on the steps of the staircase, where she drapes her right arm twice over the side. See more »
Take the film only for what it is, a spoof, farce or light comedy. Serving that purpose, the cast is delightful with required over-the-top performances by one and all. Ethel Waters is a dream throughout; I only wish Minelli had let her sing "Takin' a Chance on Love" without the unwelcome distraction of the tap dance sequence. Besides Waters, Lucifer's team steals the show, and of course today one wishes that Louis Armstrong could have been given a chance to demonstrate his unique vocal style. But this is nitpicking. The film is an absolutely delightful period piece with a superb cast and memorable vocals. I try to watch it at least once a year and may purchase the DVD to share with friends. (I've already purchased two of Ethel Waters' CDs.)
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