Five O' Henry stories, each separate. The primary one from the critic's acclaim was "The Cop and the Anthem". Soapy tells fellow bum Horace that he is going to get arrested so he can spend the winter in a nice jail cell. He fails. He can't even accost a woman; she turns out to be a streetwalker. The other stories are "The Clarion Call", "The Last Leaf", "The Ransom of Red Chief", and "The Gift of the Magi". Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
After the popular and critical success of two British anthology films based on W. Somerset Maugham short stories, Quartet and Trio, with different casts and crews for each episode, 20th Century-Fox felt that the time was right for an American version of this format. See more »
I first saw this movie on TV as a child in the 1960s, and never watched it again until now (2005), but it's strange how many characters and even specific shots lingered in my mind all those years. This is a gem that has something for everyone: sentimentality, humor, pathos, and loads of good performances. "The Cop and the Anthem" is probably the most tightly written of them all, with subtle touches of humor throughout (besides the most obvious gags). If I had to single out one performer who delighted me the most it would be David Wayne, doing a twitchy down-and-outer playing off of Laughton's haughty tramp (especially just having seen him play a totally different character in ADAM'S RIB just a week ago).
As an old thespian friend of mine would say, "The Last Leaf" could bring a tear to a glass eye. And in "Red Chief," Fred Allen and Oscar Levant make a strange but fun team.
Not having seen Richard Widmark in the other movie mentioned in reviewer's comments, I could only think how much he reminded me of Frank Gorshin in various roles he played in the 60s. Watch this segment again and think "Frank."
Your whole family will like this movie. Why doesn't someone bring it out nice and crispy clean on DVD?
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