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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
Just an excuse to show off Skelton's dramatic and comedic chops...but he infuses it with heart nevertheless
Reworking of 1931's "The Champ" is a predictable father-son wallow permeated with self-pity...but you have to expect that with this formula--without it, the movie would crumble apart. Story of an ex-Ziegfeld comedian who has fallen on hard times provides the perfect opportunity for Red Skelton to stretch some dramatic acting muscles, and he does not disappoint. Plus, his relationship with young Tim Considine is well-played, and the surrounding milieu of nightclubs and talent agencies is believable. Still, this script really goes out on a limb to give Skelton's Dodo an even break (he lands a TV gig!), and the heartache inherent in the finale is telegraphed from miles away. Skelton does his familiar comic routines, enjoying them himself as much as the audience does, yet in these instances he's playing to his popular persona and the semblance of an actual character slips away. We also didn't need a reprisal of the ballet sequence from "Bathing Beauty" inserted as a flashback, nor a running-away-from-home thread which is just shucked off. Screenwriter Martin Rackin seems shackled to the by-the-numbers recipe lifted from the previous version; yet if it works at all, this is due to Skelton's panache. Dimply-cute and sad-eyed, the nervous warmth Red imbues to his paternal scenes, as well as towards Jane Greer in a dressing-room meeting, is indeed moving. **1/2 from ****
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?