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 »
Rosemary DeCamp (as Peg Riley), Lanny Rees (as Junior Riley) and John Brown (as Diggby Digger O'Dell, the Friendly Undertaker) all reprised their movie roles in the original 1949 "Life of Riley" TV series. See more »
Too often Bendix was cast as a mental case who enjoyed smashing skulls, or his roles would take his gentle giant exterior to the extreme and he would be cast as an overgrown child as in "The Babe Ruth Story". This is the way I like to remember William Bendix - playing a family man doing the best he can in a world that tends to be a bit too much for him, with children that tend to be a bit too much for him too.
The plot here has to do with aircraft worker Riley's daughter preparing for her marriage to the son of Riley's boss. Neither loves the other. However, the son owes some gambling debts to some fellows that either want to start breaking big bills or the young man's legs. If the young man gets married he gets part of his inheritance and can pay off his debts. What's in it for Riley's daughter? The industrialist's son has told the girl that Riley is about to lose his job, but that his job would be safe if she married the boss' son. The girl therefore agrees to a marriage in name only to save dad's job.
I will tell you only this about how the plot works out. None of Riley's family has any idea that there is anything the least bit amiss in this situation until Riley sees the train tickets for the soon-to-be-married couple and discovers that his daughter and son-in-law will be honeymooning in separate compartments on the train. Riley's reaction - "Wow, when her mom and I got married all we could afford was one berth!" - and then it hits him that this lack of togetherness on one's wedding night is a sign of something more than an excess of cash on hand.
This film is a great slice of life of the new post-war American middle class of the 40's and 50's. Catch it if you can.
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