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 (1948) and Trio (1950), 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'm amazed this film has never been put on video or DVD. If the people in the video department at Fox were smart they would release it every Christmas, since one of the short stories it includes is The Gift of the Magi. Another is the Cop and the Anthem, where Charles Laughton plays a tramp trying unsuccessfully to get himself arrested at Christmas so he can get a warm cell to sleep in. (Red Skelton used that story every Christmas for his Freddy the Freeloader character). As a kid I was a Warner Brothers fan, but this is the one Fox movie I never missed when it came on TV. O. Henry wrote great short stories with twist endings that influenced such TV anthology series as Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock presents. Included here is The Clarion Call, a nice tight little film noir with Richard Widmark virtually repeating his role from Kiss of Death. The Last Leaf is nice life affirming tearjerker. The Ransom of Red Chief has Fred Allen and Oscar Levant in a hilarious tale of two luckless kidnappers in a tale worthy of Mark Twain. Fox is sitting on a gold mine. Put it out on video.
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