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Tucson, Arizona, circa 1910: Emily Hefferan wants a divorce. In flashback, she recalls twenty years of marriage to Jim Hefferan, who sinks every cent of each new windfall in harebrained investments. Emily only keeps a roof over the family by taking in boarders...more and more of them. But Jim's latest deal goes just a little too far. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Chicken Every Sunday plays like a combination of It's A Wonderful Life and Papa's Delicate Condition. Based on the memoirs of Rosemary Taylor growing up in Tucson, Arizona at the turn of the last century, it tells the story of her parents played by Dan Dailey and Celeste Holm and how this loving family nearly came apart.
The narrative is in flashback as Celeste Holm is relating to an attorney why she wants after so many years of marriage to Dan Dailey with three children to show for it, a divorce. Celeste has put up with quite a lot and in fact is the one who is really keeping the family together.
Dailey is a product of his time, a firm believer in the idea with the right scheme promoting the right product, he can get himself a permanent address on easy street. He resents the fact that Celeste Holm has decided to go into a little business of her own, a boardinghouse. But that boardinghouse and the income from it has kept the family from being on the street.
It looked to me like Chicken Every Sunday might have been thought of as a musical when first on the drawing boards at 20th Century Fox. It certainly was a waste not have musical performers like Dailey and Holm do at least one number together for posterity. Watching the film you can practically drop in the where the numbers should be.
20th Century Fox gave Holm and Dailey a good supporting cast with such pleasure to watch professionals like William Frawley, Alan Young, Porter Hall, Katherine Emery and Whit Bissell as some of the various people in their lives. The best two without a doubt are Veda Ann Borg who is Frawley's estranged wife and Connie Gilchrist as her mother. Gilchrist's drunk act is the hit of the film.
Chicken Every Sunday is a pleasant piece of diversion from some musical performers in non-musical roles.
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