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George B. Seitz
A writer for a radio program needs some fresh ideas to juice up his show. For inspiration, he rents a room with a typical American family and begins to secretly write about their true life antics. The show becomes a big hit, but he begins to feel guilty about his charade when he falls in love with the family's pretty older daughter. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Radio writers Fletcher Marvin (Franchot Tone) and Link Ferris (Dick Powell) are out of ideas, and in order to keep up their lavish lifestyle, they must get some, and quick. Link takes a walk one night looking for inspiration and he stumbles upon a pretty waitress working in a diner. Bonnie Porter (Mary Martin) is kind to Link, assuming he is penniless and in need of a good meal, and he quickly realizes she could inspire a great story. Bonnie takes Link home and the real story begins.
Bonnie's family is the perfect specimen for a radio show. Her father (Victor Moore) is a hair-brained inventor whose inventions never work. Her mother (Mabel Paige) has a penchant for being particular about everything, and she dislikes Link instantly. Uncle Jake (William Demarest) is a loafer who refuses to speak to Pop. Twips (Beverly Hudson) is a lovesick teenage girl and Clem (Raymond Roe) is an aspiring doctor with a thirst for other people's blood. Link quickly realizes that by keeping the Porter family away from their radio, he can copy their lives verbatim into a program format, and the show becomes highly successful. Problems arise when Link begins to fall for Bonnie, and then Fletcher steps in.
A fun movie from start to finish with moments of real genius, the only thing disappointing about True to Life is that it is so hard to find. The fine cast brings each character to life in such a way that they are believable but never boring. Powell is seamless as the protagonist and Tone is equally impressive as the antagonist. Martin makes an extremely enjoyable leading lady and it is too bad she didn't have a longer film career.
There are three songs sung in this film, and all of them are rather well done. Martin sings the spirited "Mister Pollyanna" near the beginning of the movie and Powell adds "Old Music Master" and "There She Was" later on.
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