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William A. Seiter
A hat-check girl at the Stork Club (Hutton) saves the life of a drowning man (Fitzgerald). A rich man, he decides to repay her by anonymously giving her a bank account, a luxury apartment and a charge account at a department store. When her boyfriend (DeFore) returns from overseas, he thinks she is a kept woman. Written by
Herman Seifer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Solid Vehicle For Betty Hutton That Gets a Big Boost From Barry Fitzgerald
This is a solid vehicle for Betty Hutton that gives her plenty of opportunities to use her singing ability as well as her upbeat, energetic acting style. It's far from flawless, but it gets a big boost from Barry Fitzgerald, and the sharp contrast between the two stars and their characters also lends some substance to the enjoyable but rather fluffy plot.
Hutton and Fitzgerald are certainly an intriguing pairing, with seemingly nothing in common. The story setup has Fitzgerald as a cranky, friendless millionaire whom Hutton's character rescues from drowning. The millionaire's determination to help the good-hearted hat check girl gets tangled up with her own misunderstandings and difficulties, creating an implausible but entertaining story. The setting in the popular Stork Club provides a suitable backdrop to the plot.
Hutton just has to be natural in the role, and she fits into the part well. Fitzgerald played this kind of role as well as any other character actor, past or present, and his style usually makes even the blandest lines of dialogue worth listening to. The cast also includes Robert Benchley, who adds his dry humor in the role of the millionaire's lawyer. Benchley is always amusing, and he gets some fine moments even though he is not on-screen all that often. The stolid Don Defore is well cast as Hutton's earnest but unimaginative boyfriend, and he serves as a good straight man for the others.
This probably would have been improved with a tighter script and a crisper pace. Its deliberately improbable story is fun to watch, but it's the kind of story that works best when the dialogue and action both move along briskly. With some of the slow stretches removed or shortened, this might be quite a good movie. But even as it stands, it's enjoyable enough as very light entertainment.
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