Poor Red Jones gets fired from every job he tries. His fiancée gives him one last chance to make good when he becomes a Fuller Brush man. His awkward attempts at sales are further ... See full summary »
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Poor Red Jones gets fired from every job he tries. His fiancée gives him one last chance to make good when he becomes a Fuller Brush man. His awkward attempts at sales are further complicated when one of his customers is murdered and he becomes the prime suspect. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <email@example.com>
THE FULLER BRUSH MAN is, hands-down, Red Skelton's best film. The script is tight and packed solid with one liners. The supporting cast, especially Janet Blair and Don McGuire, are very personable (McGuire in a greasy sort of way, of course!). The scenario is perfectly balanced between the first half wherein Red tries to make something of himself and the second half after which a murder is committed in the home of the sanitation commissioner who fired Skelton. Like Sylvan Simon's WHISTLING pictures, there is an extended set-piece - this time in Red's apartment. But unlike the MGM comedies (poor MGM, they tried at comedy) the cutting, camera-work and staging are more fluid. And funnier. BUT all this is but a build-up to one of the great chase finales in pictures. And here is where co-scenarist Frank Tashlin really shows his stuff. The chase is a raucous knockabout affair with the gangsters, all played by top stunt players such as Dave Sharpe and Bud Wolfe, bounce and tumble like the Keystone Kops. And what really sells the chase is Heinz Roemheld's dizzy, pizzicato scoring. It is perfectly punctuated and wraps the entire finale up into a three-ring circus act. It is very interesting to compare the chase finale in FULLER BRUSH MAN to the chase finale in THE YELLOW CAB MAN. The latter sequence was scored by MGM cartoon music maestro Scott Bradley. But for some unconscionable reason, Bradley's music was completely dropped from the finale. Talked about a scotched opportunity. Never mind. See THE FULLER BRUSH MAN. It's Red's best.
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