Victor Norman is just out of the service and looking for a job in advertising. By playing hard to get, he figures that he can get a good job and a large salary. The first thing he has to do is get a war widow to endorse Beautee Soap - a client of the Kimberly Agency. He meets with Kay Dorrance and gets the endorsement and Mr. Evans, the head of Beautee Soap is temporarily happy. Victors job is now to work with Mr. Evans, a man who is a strict and demanding client. Everything should be rosy, but Victor, a bachelor, finds himself more attracted to Kay, a widow, than young single Jean Ogilvie. Written by
Tony Fontana <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The novel upon which this film is based was itself inspired by a real-life exposé in "The Saturday Evening Post". The four-part article, entitled "The Star Spangled Octopus," was a look at how the talent and promotional agency MCA had managed to monopolize most areas of popular entertainment by the mid-1940s. In the novel, the character of Dave Lash is based directly on MCA founder and president Jules C. Stein and his right-hand-man is based on Lew Wasserman. The movie version retains these elements of the book's form but is otherwise fairly sanitized. The one exception: the exterior of the fictional agency Talent Ltd. is shown once during the movie - and the building in the shot is unmistakably MCA's Beverly Hills headquarters. See more »
When Gable and Kerr are lying on the beach at night, the background scene of the sea is a still shot, the waves stayed fixed during the entire scene See more »
The Hucksters has a lot of good clean fun with the advertising business of the 1940's. Clark Gable, newly discharged from the service, returns to his old haunts as an ad man and finds himself involved with two women, a tyrannical client, and an obnoxious, not too talented radio comedian. This is high class melodrama, and has some pretty good satirical moments, though I don't think that the guys who wrote it were as smart as they thought they were, it's a decent, watchable movie.
One can see Gable slipping into middle age here, and though he seems spry enough, he's clearly not the man he was five years earlier, and I couldn't help but feel a little sorry for him. Deborah Kerr and Ava Gardner are attractive if otherwise unremarkable as the women in his life. Sidney Greenstreet does a nice turn as the sinister, demanding client. Keenan Wynn's the one to watch here, as the (so-called) comedian Gable must contend with; and he does a smashing job, managing to be pathetic, sympathetic and obnoxious all at once, not, I imagine, an easy thing for an actor to do.
Worth keeping an eye out for: excellent production values from MGM's art department in its glory years. Marvelous sets, expert lighting. The movie is a pleasure to look at, if not always to listen to.
11 of 16 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?