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Considering the fact that this is 1944 small town (not suburbia as one reviewer stated) America which was able to overlook WWII, I'd say it was a fantasy and should be treated as such. It's a what if. What if you found out when your son was grown that he had been switched at birth? What if he might be in love with his sister? Racy stuff. If this were a pre-Code movie it might have had premarital consummation and someone killing herself or himself over the shame and horror of it all. But as this was made firmly under the thumb of the censor, it's a broad comedy.
The sons look similar which makes swapping more plausible. I was glad I could see Freddie and Jimmy in early adult roles rather than as kids. And the very pretty sister could have been related to either one.
There are some nice little touches like the squeaky shoes of the Clarence Darrow-like lawyer, the authoritative woman judge with a heart of gold in a decade when drafted men left women in charge in many spheres on the home front, the elderly veteran (Spanish American War?) wearing his medals around town, the bragging useless guard, the slight attempt at quarantine for measles, the headlines about delinquent parents, the opportunity for corruption when everyone knows everyone and is related to everyone in one way or another, the reference to the territory that was Alaska where it seems they needed engineers although we aren't told for what, and the intrusive news reporters and photographers. I'm sure if I'd seen this in 1944 I would have caught more of the humor and parody.
I give it four stars for making a comedy about potential brother- sister marriage, which in any era is a bold move. I found the young people far more appealing than their elders, which was the point. As they said in Bye, Bye, Birdie, "Nothing's the matter with kids today."
There are plot holes and apparently actual holes in the film after so many years, and it's hard to overlook a missing world war, the draft, and rationing. But if you take it as the silliness it is, you might enjoy it. I did.
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