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Rather odd Ben Hogan biopic is a curiously contracted affair. Episodic in the extreme and boasting repressed thespian renderings from Glenn Ford (Hogan), Ann Baxter (Valerie Ford) and Dennis O'Keefe (Chuck Williams), it resembles a feature length episode of "Leave It To Beaver" and is deathly afraid of tarnishing (or humanizing)the Hogan legend. As a result, it is very bland. Director Sidney Lanfield and writer Frederick Hazlitt Brennan are incapable of injecting any edge into Hogan's struggle to be a professional golfer and focus instead on the golfer's tense relationship with a sports journalist (Larry Keating) and his lack of ease with the "gallery" that follows the golfing tour.
To the film's credit, there is some good golf played. Several tee shots, fairway chips to the green, and putts to the hole were obviously filmed for real, adding some much-needed authenticity to the barely human story. Location filming at Pebble Beach, California, is welcome, too.
I didn't dislike this odd little biopic. The sequence leading up to Hogan's accident is quite suspenseful, and Ford's performance, despite its mechanical nature, is interesting to watch for its freak value. But the treatment of Hogan, a respected golfing legend, is too careful, too reverential.
3 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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