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The Hucksters (1947)

 -  Drama | Comedy | Romance  -  27 August 1947 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 925 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 7 critic

A World War II veteran wants to return to advertising on his own terms, but finds it difficult to be successful and maintain his integrity.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Airs Tue. Sep. 30, 8:30 AM on TCM

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DVD: DVD: The Hucksters
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Title: The Hucksters (1947)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Kay Dorrance
...
Evan Llewellyn Evans
...
Mr. Kimberly
...
Jean Ogilvie
...
Buddy Hare
...
David 'Dave' Lash
Aubrey Mather ...
Mr. Glass, Valet
Richard Gaines ...
Cooke
...
Max Herman
...
Georgie Gaver
Clinton Sundberg ...
Michael Michaelson
...
Mrs. Kimberly
Connie Gilchrist ...
Betty - Switchboard Operator
Kathryn Card ...
Miss Regina Kennedy
Edit

Storyline

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 <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Love That Gable ! Love That Girl, Kerr (who rhymes with star) ! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 August 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A házalók  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,300,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Mrs. Kimberly: [to Kay] I'm sorry. I'm afraid now it's going to be two subjects: business talk and oomph.
Mr. Kimberly: Well, what else is there?
Victor Albee Norman: [Tongue in cheek] There's always mah-jong.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in What's My Line?: Episode dated 9 August 1953 (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

Over There
(uncredited)
Written by George M. Cohan (1917)
Part of first line sung by Clark Gable and Sydney Greenstreet at different times.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Fear Is Your Foreman!
22 January 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Clark Gable made several comedies in his career, some of them quite funny (such as TEACHER'S PET). THE HUCKSTERS was one of the funny ones that still retains it's edge. It is considered dated by some because advertising is taken for granted in the modern day world, but if you consider that mass advertising actually goes back to the newspaper and magazine explosion of the late 19th Century THE HUCKSTERS was only bringing the story up to date in post World War II America.

What sets this film above other attacks is the acting of Gable, Adolphe Menjou, Ava Gardner, Keenan Wynn, Edward Arnold, and (best of the group) Sidney Greenstreet as the evil Evan LLewellyn Evans, the soap king. The film does look closely at the running of the advertising world inside an ad firm - quite a different look from the normal in any Hollywood film up to that time.

Basically the film shows how everyone jumps to the tune of the rich client (here the manipulative and sadistic Greenstreet). Gable has some values, and he slowly is corrupted sufficiently by dealing with Evans and Menjou to drop them. The key scene is when he blackmails Edward Arnold to do something unethical. Subsequently we realize that this never sits well with Gable, as Arnold's character in this film (for a change) is a rather decent guy. It does lead to his final act of independence - one of the best moments in Gable's and Greenstreet's film careers.

Keenan Wynn has always been underrated. He was a very good dramatic actor (witness his performance in THE GREAT MAN) and very amusing as a comedian (as in MY DEAR SECRETARY and DR. STRANGELOVE - two different approaches to comedy by the way). His father was Ed Wynn, one of the great Broadway clowns of all time. It is easy to see how he got his sense of timing. But what makes his role here as Buddy Hare, the second rate comic that Mr. Evans thinks is the funniest man in the world, is he is dealing with a man who has weak material to begin with, and delivers it with gusto that we can't stand hearing. Witness the joke about a man painting the front door of Buddy's home with black paint, and Gable's Vic Norman drops the obvious punchline on him. Eddie smiles weakly acknowledging that it is bad material. This is done so well, we end up liking Eddie (even if we wish he'd take his material and go away).


9 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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