Dagwood falls foul of George M. Radcliffe even before he knows he's the new boss. After he manages to put a big deal in jeopardy he's in real trouble, and Blondie has the bright idea of having Radcliffe round for dinner. Maybe also inviting the feisty new schoolteacher to make up the foursome wasn't so bright though. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <email@example.com>
Character actor Jerome Cowan had appeared in the previous entry in the "Blondie" series. With this film he becomes a regular cast member in the role of Mr. Radcliffe, who replaces Mr. Dithers (played by Jonathan Hale ) as Dagwood's boss. The story simply has Dagwood returning from vacation to find that Mr. Dithers is gone and has sold the business to Mr. Radcliffe. The highly volatile Mr. Dithers remained a part of the comic strip. See more »
BLONDIE'S BIG MOMENT (Columbia, 1947), directed by Abby Berlin, Number 19 and counting, into the life and misadventures of the Bumstead family, marks a new development in the series with some overly familiar themes. Jerome Cowan joins the cast as Dagwood's new boss, Mr. Radcliffe (better known by his employees as RATcliffe), taking over where Mr. Dithers left off. Cowan had earlier appeared in BLONDIE KNOWS BEST (1946), but under another character portrayal.
Plot summary: The Bumsteads, Blondie (Penny Singleton), Dagwood (Arthur Lake), Alexander (Larry Simms), Cookie (Marjorie Kent) and Daisy, return home from summer vacation, compliments of Mr. Dithers, who had his reasons for granting them time away from home. Upon their arrival, with Dagwood all sunburned around his face, they are greeted by neighbor Alvin Fuddow (Danny Mummert) with a supply of jelly donuts. While on his way to work in a crowded bus, it doesn't take Dagwood long to become accident prone, bumping into a fellow passenger (Jerome Cowan) and accidentally spilling jelly from his donut all over his good suit. The passenger becomes even more annoyed when Dagwood starts heading towards his direction after getting off the bus. (Why is he following me?). What they don't know is that each have unwittingly switched briefcases, with Dagwood's supplied with fish for one of his employee friends. By the time Dagwood comes to the office, he notices the surroundings quiet and tense for that Mr. Dithers has sold the construction firm now controlled by George M. Radcliffe, who happens to be twice as strict as Dithers. Much to Dagwood's dismay, they's already met on the bus, and he is soon demoted after his new boss opens the briefcase filled with fish. Enter Blondie, who, instead of being the typical pleading housewife speaking for her husband, wins this hot-headed bachelor over with kindness, flattery, and an invitation to dinner. All goes well, especially after Radcliffe is introduced to another guest, Harriet Gary (Anita Louise), Alexander's attractive blonde schoolteacher whose there to ask Mr. Bumstead permission to take her class over to his place of work to learn more about the business world. Radcliffe, however, is willing to overlook Dagwood's past mistakes and reinstate his position if he is able to locate suitable property for Mr. Greenleaf (Jack Davis), an important client. They do find one by a baseball field where Radcliffe is struck on the head by a passing ball, thanks to a near-sited little boy named Slugger (Johnny Granath) at the bat. Complications ensue as Dagwood discovers Slugger, who never utters a word, to be Alexander's guest for the weekend. Dagwood's next dilemma is to keep Slugger out of Radcliffe's reach both at his home and at the office during Miss Gary's visitation with the class.
Predictable chain of events that rank BLONDIE'S BIG MOMENT another amusing 71 minutes. The title appears to be a misnomer, since it sounds like a blessed event story or Blondie obtaining the lead in a big stage production, for that this is really the one where Blondie meets the boss instead of its second entry, released in 1939, which states that through its title.
Supporting players consist of Jack Rice as Ollie Merton, Dagwood's rival acting as Radcliffe's "Yes" man in order to get Bumstead's job; Eddie Acuff as Mr. Beasley, the postman (no need to go into detail to what happens to him); Hal K. Dawson as Mr. Little; and Dick Wessel as a bus driver named Charlie, who would later replace Acuff as the neighborhood postman in future installments. Guest star Anita Louise, better known for her screen roles at Warner Brothers in the 1930s, makes a charming presence to this entry, who finds Mr. Radcliffe irritable and self-centered, especially after finding out how he feels towards children, particularly Slugger, whose always around when Radcliffe meets with an accident, with Dagwood being no help to him either.
BLONDIE'S BIG MOMENT, formerly displayed on video cassette through King Features, had its successful run, along with 28 other "Blondie" comedies in the series, on American Movie Classics cable channel (1996-2001) where most of the films contained restored theatrical opening and closing credits. Next installment: BLONDIE'S HOLIDAY (1947). (**1/2)
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