Tacey and Harry King are a suburban couple with three sons and a serious need of a babysitter. Tacey puts an ad in the paper for a live-in babysitter, and the ad is answered by Lynn ...
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An urbane, sharp-tongued expert on how to stay young interrupts a lecturing tour to prove his theory at a dilapidated old people's home. To the despair of his agent and the alarm of the ... See full summary »
Clifton Webb recreates his Sitting Pretty role as Mr. Lynn Belvedere, the World's Greatest Genius. Belvedere discovers that he is ineligible for an honorary award because he never attended ... See full summary »
Professor Henry Barnes decides he's lived long enough and contemplates suicide. His attitude is changed by Peggy Taylor, a chipper young mother-to-be who charms him into renting out his ... See full summary »
Two nuns from a French convent arrive in a small New England town with a plan to build a children's hospital. They enlist the help of several colorful characters in achieving their dream ... See full summary »
On their wedding night Bob informs his new bride Betty that he has bought a chicken farm. An abandoned chicken farm, to be exact, which is obvious when the two move in. Betty endures Bob's ... See full summary »
A clever fortune-hunter with a penchant for murder does in his elderly, supposedly rich, wife and manages to get away with it. After an investigation results in a decision of 'accidental ... See full summary »
An actress, Julie Beck, finds out that she is ill and has only a short time to live. She becomes taken with Hitty, a young orphan prone to dreaming. Julie soon decides to adopt the child so... See full summary »
Tacey and Harry King are a suburban couple with three sons and a serious need of a babysitter. Tacey puts an ad in the paper for a live-in babysitter, and the ad is answered by Lynn Belvedere. But when she arrives, she turns out to be a man. And not just any man, but a most eccentric, outrageously forthright genius with seemingly a million careers and experiences behind him. Mr. Belvedere works miracles with the children and the house but the Kings have no idea just what he's doing with his evenings off. And when Harry has to go out of town on a business trip, a nosy parker starts a few ugly rumors. But everything comes out all right in the end thanks to Mr. Belvedere. Written by
This is one of the few (if any) films which shows what an accomplished dancer Clifton Webb was. During his Broadway career, he was known for his dancing and his singing, as well as his comedy. See more »
Mrs. King, as I told you last night, I dislike children intensely and yours, if I may say so, have peculiarly repulsive habits and manners.
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With Sitting Pretty, Clifton Webb created his most enduring film character, the aesthetic and acid tongue, self-styled genius, Mr. Lynn Belvedere. He enters the lives of the King family by answering an advertisement Maureen O'Hara puts in a paper about needing a live-in baby sitter.
Never assume folks, Maureen doesn't specify the gender of whom she seeks and with that first name of Mr. Belvedere she and husband Robert Young assume they've got themselves a female.
Belvedere moves in and he's quite the character. I'm not sure there's a subject or a field he's not well versed in and he's not above letting one know it. Thanks to a fussy busybody neighbor, Richard Haydn, Webb and O'Hara become the focal point of a lot of neighborhood gossip.
Clifton Webb never had any luck with his three Oscar nominations. In 1944 for Laura he lost to Barry Fitzgerald in Going My Way. In 1946 in The Razor's Edge he lost to Harold Russell in The Best Years of Our Lives. Those two were for Best Supporting Actor, but in 1948 he was nominated for Best Actor and this time lost to the greatest actor of his generation playing arguably the greatest acting role ever, Laurence Olivier as Hamlet.
Robert Young as O'Hara's husband is not generally commented on, but I've always had the sneaking suspicion that some astute casting directors saw Young in this film and decided he'd be perfect as THE television suburban all American father when it came time to casting Father Knows Best.
For some reason Maureen O'Hara gave this film a fast mention in her recent memoirs and didn't discuss it at all. I'm not sure why, she certainly did well enough in it.
Richard Haydn is also not commented on too much, mainly because he was playing a very typical Richard Haydn part. Clifton Webb of course was the cinema's closest thing for almost 20 years to an out gay actor and I'm sure Mr. Belvedere if done today would be more explicitly gay. So would that first meeting of Haydn and Webb where today it would be shown for exactly what it is, Haydn trying to pick up Webb and Webb turning the prospect down cold.
Almost sixty years later, Sitting Pretty has not lost a bit of its entertainment value. Clifton Webb's Mr. Belevedere is an enduring cinema legend. I only wish the two succeeding Belvedere films were shown. I've never seen either of them as of today and don't ever even recall them being broadcast.
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