An aging heir-less millionaire wants to leave his fortune to the unsuspecting family of his first love but not before testing his prospective heirs by living with them under the guise of a poor boarder.
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Wealthy Samuel Fulton is getting older and has no family of his own. He decides to leave his estate to the family of his first love, who turned down his marriage proposal years ago because he was poor. But he wants to test the family before leaving his money to them. He takes a room in their home and a job in the father's shop. He anonymously grants them $100,000. Harriet Blaisdell moves the family into a mansion and makes plans to marry her daughter Millicent off to a socialite rather than her soda jerk boyfriend Dan. The money goes to their heads, and they soon find themselves broke, back in their old house, and back to their old lives. Father back in his shop, Millicent engaged to Dan, and everyone seemingly much happier. Hoping they learned their lesson, Fulton takes his leave of the family. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This is part one of a trilogy of "Americana" movies Sirk made for Universal which are set in the early part of the 20th Century, ("Meet Me At the Fair" and "Take Me To Town" would follow). While critical of different aspects of American society, in this case the power of greed, they are movies that exude much affection for their characters and the country itself. At this point Sirk was still very enamoured with America. His future films would reflect the change of his perception of American society coming to fruition in the big melodramas that lay ahead.
"Has Anybody Seen My Gal" signals the beginning of the star building process which took the almost unknown Rock Hudson and over a period of a few years turned him into America's top box office star. Much has been written of the subversive subtexts of Sirk's movies. It would seem his most subversive action was that out of a hunky, gay, not especially talented actor, he created and icon of the prototype fifties American male; a wonderful analogy for appearances and unrevealed truths that are much a part of the fifties psyche. Although Hudson receives top billing in "Has Anyone Seen My Gal", his role is decidedly secondary. This is very much Charles Coburn's movie. Hudson has little to do although his screen presence is already charged with the goodness and charm that were to be his trademarks.
"Has Anybody Seen My Gal" has the quality stamp of Douglas Sirk. His eye for good camera work, lighting and art direction are all evident. But like the other films of the trilogy it's a very light weight affair.
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