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Mirian Wilkins, teen-age daughter of Senator Wilkins, starts a Society for the Rahabilitation of Criminals and, without the approval or knowledge of the Senator, elects him to the position of honorary president. When a new gardener, Bacter, of the family turns out to be an notorious ex-convict who was sentenced to prison by Senator Wilkins when he was a judge, Wilkins is about to fire him until his daughter point out that would be an unwise decision considering the position her father held on her society. Further complications arise involving a fuss-budget banker, Albert, a former suitor of Miriam's older, married sister, plus some domestic misunderstandings between Baxter and his wide, and the older sister and her husband. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This is a near farce about a teenager who decides to rehabilitate a criminal by hiring him to work at her father's home. Her father was the judge that sentenced him.
I looked at this because Of Natalie Wood. She was only in the film for the last 20 minutes and only for about 10 minutes screen time. Yet,I wasn't at all disappointed. She's terrific in her few scenes.
There are three delightful performances here. Edward Arnold (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington). He plays a senator who is also a thoughtful man and loving father. He's wonderfully relaxed in the role. Billy DeWolfe is one of the few obviously gay actors in Hollywood films of the 40's and 50's. Usually he is just given a couple of scenes as comic relief. Here is plays a significant role in the plot and mugs deliciously through every scene. Mona Freeman is the real star. She is hilarious as the sincere, liberal with a heart of gold who wants to reform all criminals through love and understanding. In a way she foreshadows Gale Storm in "My Little Margy." and Ann Margaret in "Bye, Bye, Birdie." William Seiter directed the classic Astaire-Rodgers film "Roberta". He keeps the laughs coming with a clean clear simple directing style.
If you want to see a beautiful piece of Americana from 1951, this is the film. It may not be Frank Capra, but this film seems to be taking place in the next town over from Pottersville.
It is a gentle giggle from start to finish.
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