Four of Somerset Maugham's short stories are brought to the screen with each introduced by the author himself. In the first story, The Facts of Life, a young man with great potential on the... See full summary »
On a walking tour of English cathedrals, Donald Meadows meets Hester Granthem in church. Hearing he is from that hot-bed of crime, Chicago, Hester asks Donald to help her in a robbery she ... See full summary »
Ewald André Dupont
Florence and Chet Keefer have had a troublesome marriage. Whilst in the middle of a divorce hearing the judge encourages them to remember the good times they have had hoping that the ... See full summary »
Husband and wife Americans Dr. Eugene and Mrs. Helen Ferguson - he a renowned neurosurgeon - are traveling through Latin America for a vacation. When they make the decision to return to New... See full summary »
Jan Stewart, a new teacher at The Oaks, a boys' boarding school, becomes instructor and mother-figure to a class of twelve. She must overcome the disapproval of Joe Hargrave, head of the ... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
O. Henry's Full House is an interesting experiment. Introduced by John Steinbeck, it features adaptations of five of O. Henry's literally dozens of stories. Two of them have a genuine feel for the early twentieth century New York the author knew so well: The Cop and the Anthem and The Clarion Call. The former features Charles Laughton as a tramp with big ideas, and offers Marilyn Monroe in a bizarre cameo; while the latter is a tough little crime story about two boyhood friends from Erie, Pennsylvania whose lives could scarcely have turned out more differently. Jean Negulesco sensitively directed the sentimental The Last Leaf, the most accomplished of the group. On the downside, The Gift Of the Magi is ruined by unsympathetic lead players; and the Howard Hawkes-directed Ransom Of Red Chief is a near-total disaster.
A mixed bag, to say the least, the film was doubtless inspired by the success of the British series of movies adapted from Somerset Maugham's stories. This one isn't nearly as good, but is a good try. Had the producers stuck to dealing with O. Henry's more rugged, ironic New York tales the film might have worked out better, but it opted for heavy doses of sentiment and broad comedy instead. This is a pity, as O. Henry's influence on American literature and popular culture was enormous, and can be seen in many television anthology series, such as The Twilight Zone, and in dramatic shows such as The Naked City. In the first two stories in the film one can see much of the irony and love of simple humanity that must have inspired such later authors as Rod Serling.
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