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O. Henry's Full House (1952)

Approved | | Drama | 27 October 1952 (UK)
John Steinbeck introduces a quintet of five of O. Henry's most celebrated stories from his New York Period (1902-1910) in this anthology film.

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
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Jim (segment "The Gift of the Magi")
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Soapy (segment "The Cop and the Anthem")
...
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Streetwalker (segment "The Cop and the Anthem")
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Gregory Ratoff ...
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Barney Woods (segment "The Clarion Call")
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Horace (segment "The Cop and the Anthem")
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Johnny Kernan (segment "The Clarion Call")
Joyce Mackenzie ...
Hazel Woods (segment "The Clarion Call") (scenes deleted) (as Joyce MacKenzie)
...
Richard Rober ...
Chief of Detectives (segment "The Clarion Call")
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Storyline

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 <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ransom | leaf | winter | murder | christmas | See All (40) »

Taglines:

A dozen top stars - five famed directors bring you the best stories of O. Henry!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 October 1952 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Baghdad on the Subway  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film has always been billed and known as "O. Henry's Full House", never as "Full House" as it's headlined here. See more »

Quotes

Sam 'Slick' Brown: [Being chased by a bear] We're going up a tree, William!
Bill Peoria: Can bears climb trees?
Sam 'Slick' Brown: Here he comes! We'll soon find out!
Sam 'Slick' Brown: [after shimmying up the tree] William, I think it's a cinnamon bear.
Bill Peoria: I don't care what flavor he is. He's more apt to taste me.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Last Leaf (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

O, Little Town of Bethlehem
(1868) (uncredited)
Music by Lewis H. Redner
Played in the background and sung by Farley Granger
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Interesting Experiment
18 November 2001 | by (brighton, ma) – See all my reviews

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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