When billionaire Jean-Marc Clement learns that he is to be satirized in an off-Broadway revue, he passes himself off as an actor playing him in order to get closer to the beautiful star of the show, Amanda Dell.
The titular river unites a farmer recently released from prison, his young son, and an ambitious saloon singer. In order to survive, each must be purged of anger, and each must learn to understand and care for the others.
A Justice of the Peace performed weddings a few days before his license was valid. A few years later five couples learn they have never been legally married. Annabel Norris, already Mrs. Mississippi and ready to enter the Mrs. America contest, is now free to enter the Miss Mississippi contest. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
According to a November 25, 1951 New York Times article, the picture was going to feature the stories of seven married couples, although the released film has only five. A March 1952 studio synopsis, contained in the PCA file, reveals that Hope Emerson and Walter Brennan were the stars of one of the dropped episodes, in which "Mattie Beaufort" (Emerson) an over-worked, rural housewife is courted by "Handsome" (Brennan), a shiftless philanderer. When Mattie receives the governor's letter notifying her of her marital status, she asks Handsome to read it for her, and he quickly feeds it to the hogs rather than have her learn that she would be free to marry him. A July 25, 1952 entry in Hollywood Reporter's "Rambling Reporter" column indicates that the sequence was filmed, but the reason for its removal from the finished picture has not been determined. See more »
Melvin Bush's registry book showed Hector's address as being in Lanhasset, New York. The address on the envelope from the governor shows his residence as being in Manhasset, N.Y. If this goof was made by the set decorator, then it's a factual mistake, but there's a slight chance it was an intentional character error given how scatter-brained Mr. Bush was. See more »
It's a clever premise, but the results have dated rather badly. Unfortunately, the comedy level never reaches the sparkle it needs, though the opening vignette (Rogers and Allen) comes close. Perhaps that's not surprising given Director Goulding's credits, which suggest he's more at home with Bette Davis melodrama than with material of this sort. Also, I'm surprised a big-budget studio like Fox didn't film this in Technicolor, which would have added a lot to the atmospherics. Instead, we get dour gray tones that undercut the light-hearted mood, making the movie look older than it is. But then, 1952 was a year Hollywood was looking to retool in the face of TV's onslaught. The following year would see an explosion of wide- screen color beyond the reach of the livingroom tube. As a result, this comedy venture may have been caught in the transition.
To me, the Allen-Rogers sequence is the best. It's actually a rather scathing look at entertainment make-believe and the relentless assault of commercial advertising. In private life the two are barely speaking, while on radio they play a pair of happy marrieds who trade comic barbs in between pushing the sponsors' goofy products. It's rather deftly and bitingly done, even though the 57-year old Allen looks like he's been on a two-week bender. In passingnote that even though we see a number of living rooms, no TV's are in sight, only radios! This was Hollywood in its final stage of denial.
The other vignettes are mildly entertaining, with a look at a number of performers on the way up the ladder-- Monroe, Marvin, Wayne, Gaynor. Especially satisfying is the delicious opportunity the letter provides Calhern to turn the tables on the gold-digging Gabor and her grasping attorney. At least the screenplay had the good sense not to reconcile these two at the end. But notice how the script insists the others be reconciled in typical 50's happy ending style. This certainly rings hollow in the case of the feuding Allen-Rogers. Given a second chance, it's hard to see how they could possibly stay together. In the case of Douglas-Arden, the most incisive of the vignettes, they may be totally bored with one another (check the dinner scene), but are too complaisant to actually change. That strikes me as maybe not the funniest, but at least as the most realistic of the episodes.
Anyway, whatever the comedy lacks in sparkle, it is revealing of its timeradio, beauty pageants, war in Korea (implied in Bracken's troop ship). But I'm afraid that the clever premise plays better than the mild results.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?