|Index||4 reviews in total|
Often-told tale of a single father meeting and falling in love with a single mother, planning to wed despite the fact their mutual children do not get along. Van Heflin and Patricia Neal are certainly well-matched in the leads, and Heflin in particular gives a sharply-observed performance, but contrivances take over Joseph Hoffman's script and the whole pre-sitcom venture soon runs aground. Nice opening, several very good scenes, but ultimately nothing special. Aimed at wholesome family audiences of the 1950s (who may have felt TV's "The Brady Bunch" some 18 years later was but a retread), this passes muster as nostalgia, but it isn't a memorable vehicle for either star. ** from ****
One of the best things about this movie is the girl who plays Van Heflin's
oldest daughter in the film. She asks her father's girlfriend for a tube
lipstick, and he's shocked. The little girl has already told her father
that she has a boyfriend, and now this. She plainly explains to dad that
she's going to give it to a TV star that has come up to the camping resort
so the star can write her autograph. The father sits back relieved, as
girlfriend (Patricia Neal) gives him a sympathetic look. The little girl
skips away, but not before informing her father that the color of the
lipstick is not her shade, anyway.
Richard Denning also has a good role as a health nut who has designs on Patricia Neal's character. She has two sons, neither of which wants their mother to marry Denning and be subjected to a life of tofu and bean sprouts. This is a good family film for all.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
a warm wonderful witty cross between The Brady Bunch (she has two boys, he has two girls) and The Parent Trap (fun at summer camp). Everyone in this film is hilarious: likable funny kids, Virginia Field as Phyllis, who assumes she's engaged to Van Heflin, Richard Denning very funny as a fitness nut, Patricia Neal poignant as the boys' mother, and especially, in a comic gem of a performance, Van Heflin - he is a marvelous comedic actor, taking pratfalls, and getting in to one scrape after another. This is a Universal film, and is surprisingly directed by melodrama specialist Douglas Sirk (one of his rare comedies). The film is great to look at, totally enjoyable, has a wonderful early 50's look and attitude - oddly, it reminds me of my own childhood in the 1970's, so I guess things hadn't changed all that much in 20-25 years! A completely enjoyable way to spend an hour and a half. Thank you, Turner Classic Movies, for showing it. Just wonderful! (:
New York's Grand Central Station is full of children going away to
summer camp. Among those present are widower Van Heflin (as Brad
Stubbs) with his two girls, and widow Patricia Neal (as Jean Bowen)
with her two boys. The previously unacquainted adults meet at the
station while sending their twosomes away from home for the first time.
You should have no trouble figuring out the basic storyline. The girls
are real-life sisters Gigi Perreau (as Anne Stubbs) and Janine Perreau
(as Patty Stubbs). The boys are Jimmy Hunt (as Garrett "Gary" Bowen)
and Tommy Rettig (as David "Shorty" Bowen)...
During the "father-son" athletic competition, young Hunt sustained an injury and "little brother" Rettig found his role expanded. In some scenes, Hunt can be seen with his left arm held still or concealed...
This sort of story reached its madcap peak with "Yours, Mine and Ours" (1968). The adult romance is unexciting, but there is fun watching their rivals. Television star Virginia Field (as Phyllis Reynolds) also wants to wed Mr. Heflin, and muscular camp counselor Richard Denning (as Don Adams) desires Ms. Neal. As the co-stars hired "help", Frances E. Williams and Elvia Allman are amusing. Heflin and the children benefit particularly well from Douglas Sirk's capable direction. Playing a ten-year-old with nail polish and a toothy boyfriend, Gary Pagett (as Eddie), young Gigi is especially enchanting.
****** Week-End with Father (12/51) Douglas Sirk ~ Van Heflin, Patricia Neal, Gigi Perreau, Tommy Rettig
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