|Index||4 reviews in total|
Trite sitcom from director Don Weis and writer Max Schulman has Red Skelton cast as a harried husband and father over-his-head in trouble after his caustic spouse convinces him to move the family from New York City to the suburbs. As Skelton's wife, miscast Jean Hagen is all wrong for this scenario (she's so brittle, she makes poor Red look hen-pecked, deadly in a family comedy). Supporting cast (including Mary Wickes, Billie Bird, and Polly Bergen playing herself) is much more at ease with this kind of silly material; though, unfortunately, star Skelton isn't given very much to do. Extremely minor fare. *1/2 from ****
Half A Hero was a cute bit of fluff. It was a cute story, with the main interest watching Red Skelton perform. He is a real doll to watch. I could relate to his struggles. It was funny, clever, very much the same things we struggle with currently. Tho' I disagreed with his decisions. It was pleasant, but mainly I just enjoyed seeing Red. He is one of the greats that is gone from this world forever, to a much better place I pray.
This is one of my favorite of the pre-60s comedies, up with It's a Mad,
Mad, Mad World. Red Skelton gives one of his best performances, and the
humour is still witty today in a naive sense.
I also recommend Red Skelton's Public Pigeon #1!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The problem with this film is that it stars Red Skelton. And, if it's a
Red Skelton film, then it must be an uproarious comedy. Right? Well,
no. This is one of those films that can't quite decide if it's a drama
with some comedy, or a comedy with some drama. And, in my view, that
dichotomy is always a problem for a film.
Don't get me wrong. I adore(d) Red Skelton since I was a little boy. And I find him rather pleasant in this role. But this is not "The Yellow Cab Man" or "The Fuller Brush Man". This film actually has a pretty serious topic -- a married man gives into his wife and buys a home in the suburbs, only to find himself slowly going broke. Will they lose the house? Will they divorce over it? And then, just to complicate things, his boss at the magazine where he works assigns him to write an article about the "slums of the future" -- the suburbs.
Nope. Not really a comedy.
Jean Hagen is the wife here, and frankly, I'm not so sure she fared well. She was not very successful as Danny Thomas' wife in his series "Make Room For Daddy" (which began the same year), so perhaps playing a mother/housewife was just not right for her. The other main character in the story is the magazine owner, played by Charles Dingle...not one of my favorite character actors. You'll notice other character actors here, as well.
The film has a rather short run time. This is a rare Skelton film I had never seen. Thanks to Warner Archives for releasing it!
|Plot summary||Ratings||External reviews|
|Main details||Your user reviews||Your vote history|