Milo Terkel has a social-climbing wife, Emily, who is preoccupied with being involved with the rest-stops-for-birds-flying-south project of Mrs. Cornelius Belmont; a spend-thrift daughter, Debbie, preoccupied with her engagement to Cornelius Belmont III; and an over-the-hill, aging ex-jock of a brother-in-law, George Baxter, who free-loads off of and lives with the Terkel family. Enter Lawyer Henry Cadawaller who informs Milo he has inherited a dog, Joe, which the late owner guarantees will change Milo's life. It does, as Joe can talk (but does so only to Milo), and Joe is full of advice, mostly with dire consequences for Milo. Joe's first pearl of wisdom advises Milo to get tough at home, he does, and wife and daughter and even the hard-to-offend George depart.Milo goes to a bar and Joe soon has him involved with Gorgeous Gilmore, girl friend of Louie who is one tough cookie indeed and prone (actually programmed) to get physical. Joe makes Gorgeous fall into a park lake across the ... Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
I always enjoyed WALTER ABEL, one of the most likable character actors of the '40s, but THE FABULOUS JOE gives him star billing in a minor feature that attempts to be a witty screwball comedy.
It fails. The jokes are thin, the premise is ridiculous and actor Abel seems to know his material is far beneath him. Only SHELDON LEONARD as a tough guy enamored of Marie Wilson, lends any true comic flair to the proceedings. Miss Wilson reads her lines like a girl in her first high school play with a flat effect, showcasing her shapely figure but little else.
The story involves a henpecked man who gains courage from a drink called a "Mystery Gardenia" and thereafter has conversations with his dog, who gets him into all kinds of trouble--slapstick stuff involving Wilson and his wife's fits of jealousy.
DONALD MEEK and DONALD MacBRIDE have standard supporting roles and two uncredited bit roles are filled by TOMMY NOONAN (as an elevator boy) and ELLEN CORBY. But the camera is on ABEL all the time.
Summing up: A foolish comedy that strains for laughs, suitable only as the second half of a double feature in the '40s.
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