McGrath publishes books for children and Uncle Bump is one of the best sellers. Unfortunately, Greg, who is Uncle Bump, tends to drink too much and has not started his next book. Martha won...
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Claude Jarman Jr.
McGrath publishes books for children and Uncle Bump is one of the best sellers. Unfortunately, Greg, who is Uncle Bump, tends to drink too much and has not started his next book. Martha won a contest to illustrate the book and the first thing that happens is that Greg gets her soused. To keep her there to illustrate, John gets a juvenile delinquent named Danny to play his son and show how much pressure he is under. The ploy works at first, but Greg's heart was broken by Tillie, and Martha may be the girl who makes him forget all about her. Written by
Tony Fontana <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The movie's more a collection of sometimes funny schtick than a satisfying whole. The premise of Johnson being a rather obnoxious author of children's books shows promise, especially when he tangles with prudish illustrator Martha (Allyson). In order to win Martha back Greg (Johnson) schemes with publisher Mc Grath (Cronyn) to adopt a kid (Jenkins) who turns out to be a little hellion. As they say, complications ensue. On the whole, the film's series of skits tends to crowd up without building comedic impact. For example, the climactic car ride appears more frantic than funny.
Johnson manages the madcap pretty well, while Allyson gets a straight-man role unfortunately subverting her usual sparkle. At the same time, that required restraint undercuts the pairing of its usual compelling chemistry. Of course, buck-toothed Jenkins steals the film with little boy antics for which he was so well suited. Still, his frustrated desire to be adopted does provide a poignant note. However, for me, seeing Cronyn in a slapstick role takes some getting used to since I identify him with the scary Nazi-like warden in the prison classic Brute Force (1947). He was quite an actor.
On the whole, the comedy's a decent time-passer with enough set-ups to generate a few laughs from most anyone. But a well-crafted, efficient slice of madcap, it's not.
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