Once a famous Ziegfeld star, Dodo Delwyn, is reduced to playing clowns in burlesque and amusement parks as a result of his drinking. His son Little Dink idolizes Dodo and faithfully ... See full summary »
Once a famous Ziegfeld star, Dodo Delwyn, is reduced to playing clowns in burlesque and amusement parks as a result of his drinking. His son Little Dink idolizes Dodo and faithfully believes in a comeback. He persuades "Uncle" Goldie, Dodo's agent in the good old days, to find a booking for Dodo. He can't, and Dink is sent to live with his remarried-and-wealthy mother, Paula. The unhappy Dink runs back to his father. His welcome return gives Dodo the courage needed to try a knockabout TV show offered by Goldie. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
In part for its obvious publicity value, MGM had interest in casting Jackie Cooper's son John in the role his father had created in The Champ (1931) some twenty years before. He was favorably screen-tested and was to be billed as "Jackie Cooper Jr." But his father, well-versed in the pitfalls of child acting, objected to obligating the boy to a contract with the studio. Young Cooper was only six anyway, and his age made the casting a stretch, despite the good screen test. Tim Considine, several years older, was selected. See more »
This Red Skelton film caused a big stir when it was released because it featured the famous comedian in a serious role, as a sad case of someone too far gone on drink but passionately loved by his young son. The son, played in his film debut by Tim Considine, gives a magnificent and powerful performance. Skelton is very good as well. The film is a bit tepid despite the fierce intensity of Considine's acting because, as was usual with Skelton's films, not enough attention was paid to it, and it was not produced or directed with sufficient care. Considine's mother, whom he meets for the first time since infancy in this story, is played by the elegant Jane Greer, who is very at home in a nervous mother role, and conveys a sense of anxiety-ridden maternity with applomb. This film is a bit soft around the edges. In order to pack a real punch, it should have been a bit more like 'The Country Girl', and Skelton should have been allowed to play the alcoholic with the same hopeless and tragic air as Bing Crosby did in that film. Instead, the producers could not really bring themselves to push the story or the portrayal through to its logical conclusion, or make it realistic enough, and they let it drift off into fairyland. Because of the vacillation and lack of conviction of the producers, this film largely wastes Skelton's talents, will not allow him to go for true pathos, and reigns in the realism needlessly. This causes the film to verge on being an 'exploitation picture' playing harps to the music of the hopeless-dad-loving-young-son motif. The film could have been original and powerful, but despite the 100% given to it by Tim Considine, it is disappointing, and remains in the category of 'films that might have been'. If only Skelton had met the right director and had been able to sear the screen with his magic, but he was unlucky. Not for lack of acting support, though! Considine and Greer are just what was needed.
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