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A former reporter comes back home after serving in the army during World War I and finds that it's much more difficult to find work than he expected. Desperate, one day he crashes a wedding attended by many of the city's rich and powerful, meets a beautiful girl named Kay who turns out to be his ticket to meeting those rich and powerful people, and he soon manages to land a job on a newspaper. He gets caught up in the "make money at all costs" game, but receives a rude awakening when the stock market crashes in 1929. Written by
Angela Lansbury, who could sing, resented that in this and her other MGM films the studio insisted on giving her a voice double. Years later she had stage hits on Broadway in two singing roles, "Mame" and "Sweeney Todd." See more »
During conversations in automobiles, rear-screen projection shows 1940s era cars, long after time story took place. See more »
The war was not World War II, but rather, the Great War. Returning veterans were treated well, the plot line tells us, but they did not all return to their jobs. Such was the fate for one Terry O'Neil, a delightful role in the hands of William Powell.
Always eager to help the friends he made as a reporter yes, his sources were often hoodlums he does that. The doors are slammed in his face, and he uses his supreme wit to make his fortunate. He uses religion Catholicism and Saint Dismas (Patron of Thieves) to get his hoodlum friends to leave him alone. So we the viewer are left with a nice guy who has changed into a driven man with plenty of money and no need whatsoever for faith.
America changed on October 29, 1929, and so did Terry O'Neil. Anything else would be a spoiler, but it is a William Powell movie and Powell's characters were wicked smart and unwicked decent sorts.
The love interest, and films have to have one of those, was played beautifully by a beauty: Esther Williams. O'Neil's dark side's love interest was played by Angela Lansbury, straight from Broadway with a voice to match her beauty.
THE HOODLUM SAINT may, as has been suggested, have been better suited for '36 than for '46, but it plays well in '07 for those of us who love these films.
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