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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Yes, Hattie McDaniel is once again cast as the jolly maid, a woman
whose despondence over the disappearance of her fourth husband has left
her in a state of depression, especially since he took her alarm clock.
That makes her late for work every day keeping a house up for sale
clean and interfering in the love life of real estate agent Martha
O'Driscoll. One day, O'Driscoll finds soldier Noah Beery Jr. asleep in
one of the bedrooms and instead of calling the police on him, ends up
going out with him, as we see her dancing, riding the roller-coaster at
Coney Island and having a grand old time. When McDaniel overhears pill
company owner Walter Catlett offering a $5000 prize for the happiest
G.I. couple, McDaniel sends their picture in which infuriates
O'Driscoll who believes that Beery only went out with her because he
knew of the contest. It's up to the well intended McDaniel to fix
everything which explodes in all their faces when Catlett and his sour
faced wife Florence Lake show up to interview them to receive to
receive the prize around the same time as O'Driscoll's boss, Tim Ryan.
This light hearted musical screwball comedy is a delightful surprise among Universal's war era B output, lavishly filmed on one of the available A sets, and sparkling with romance and music throughout its single hour. The plot is delightfully preposterous, but through the charm of the two stars and especially McDaniel, this one comes off a winner. Beery, whom I always thought of as a brawny character actor, resembles a young Brando and is delightfully charming. The always cute Ida Moore has a one fantastic scene stealing cameo as O'Driscoll's landlady where she gets out a great line that makes her short appearance worth her involvement. McDaniel, though, is the real scene stealer, when with a black cat as an audience breaks into a rip- roaring dance to "Hold That Tiger", using every kitchen appliance she can get her hand on to add as a prop. She also has an emotional scene where she brings the two young lovers together, showing that there was wisdom behind that big heart and adding a great deal of dignity to her character. Thanks to director Leslie Goodwin (a veteran of comedy shorts as well as much of the RKO Mexican Spitfire series), this ends up a true gem, fortunately no longer hidden from me!
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