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A convict is finishing a ten-year prison sentence, during which time he has studied to become a gentleman and intends to go straight. But his former partner, believing he is holding out on him, plants an actress to pose as his lost daughter. He grows fond of her but she eventually confesses her hoax. He is hurt, but when she and her fiancé are kidnapped by his ex-partner's henchmen, he withdraws all his savings from the bank to pay the ransom. But this action by him was planned as the signal for a bank robbery and he is arrested as an accomplice to the robbery. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Doing time for a stick-up, burly Wallace Berry (as James "Jim" Breedin) is the top man on his prison farm. Nabbed during his own robbery, young hotshot Tom Drake (as Johnny Lorgen) arrives and the two become fast friends - after their prerequisite male-bonding fist fight, of course. Fifteen years served, Mr. Beery is released at the same time he receives astonishing news. The convict is given $250,000 for some property in Oklahoma. Nouveau riche, Beery takes a swanky penthouse apartment and practices being a gentleman. French being the language of polite society, Berry drops French words and phrases into conversation
which are amusingly butchered in pronunciation. One thing Berry most
wants is find his long-lost daughter...
This lower tier comedy from producer Nat Perrin and MGM holds up very well. It needed a strong lead, which is delivered quite handily by Wallace Beery. The super-star's box-office standing had diminished his later films, but his appeal is still very much on display. Helming his last film, director Harry Beaumont makes it easy for the comic misadventures to play. Pretty Dorothy Patrick (as Elaine Carter) and Mr. Drake are a nice couple. There is recognizably good support from Leon Ames (as Matthew "Matt" Enley) and his cohorts. Without notice, Gladys George pops in as Berry's love interest. Of the supporting roles, pseudo-Scandinavian inmate John Qualen (as "No End") is the only one who can really hold court with Wallace Beery.
****** Alias a Gentleman (2/3/48) Harry Beaumont ~ Wallace Beery, Tom Drake, Dorothy Patrick, John Qualen
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