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A Hole in the Head (1959)

 -  Comedy  -  15 July 1959 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 1,601 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 20 critic

An impractical widower tries to hang onto his Miami hotel and his 12-year-old son.

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
James Komack ...
Julius Manetta (as Jimmy Komack)
...
Fred
George DeWitt ...
Mendy Yales
Benny Rubin ...
Abe Diamond
Ruby Dandridge ...
Sally
B.S. Pully ...
Hood
Joyce Nizzari ...
Alice
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Storyline

Tony Manetta runs an unsuccessful Miami hotel, on which he can't meet the payments. Another liability is his weakness for dames (Shirl, his sexy current flame, is even less responsible than Tony). But a solid asset is Ally, his sensible 12-year-old son. When Tony wants stolid brother Mario to bail him out again, Mario makes conditions: give up Ally, or at least get married to a "nice, quiet little woman" of his selection. Tony and Ally just play along to be diplomatic, but when the woman in question proves to look like Eleanor Parker... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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The most wonderful entertainment in the whole wide wonderful world!

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Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

15 July 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Un hombre sin suerte  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Nearly all of the characters' names were changed from the original play. See more »

Goofs

When Ally is shown running back along the street calling for his father at the end, in the distance the taxi is seen making a U-turn while a large crowd of onlookers stand on the streets behind it, obviously watching the scene being filmed. See more »

Quotes

Tony Manetta: ...but like good ole Adam, my weakness is Eves. My current Eve is a Lulu. She woulda made the serpent eat the apple.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The title and the names of Frank Capra and the leading actors appear as an aerial advertisement attached to the Goodyear blimp. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Lost Continent (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

All My Tomorrows
(1959)
Written by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen (as James Van Heusen)
Sung by Frank Sinatra (uncredited) behind credits
See more »

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User Reviews

 
There is Better Carpra, Sinatra, and Robinson Out There
3 May 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Read all my reviews at www.midnitcafe.blogspot.com

I received A Hole in the Head for my birthday in a Frank Sinatra double pack with the original Manchurian Candidate. I had put off watching it because it did not seem like a movie I would particularly enjoy. But in my quest to watch and review all of my movies, I had no choice but to put it in the player. Of course the fact that my wife wanted to watch it prompted me a little further even to the point of watching it out of alphabetical order.

Frank Capra is the great godfather of sentimental movies. Many of these are deservedly hailed by fans and critics. From Mr Smith Goes to Washington to It's a Wonderful Life Capra made movies about the little guys fighting the system and coming out on top. These movies are sentimental enough to be dubbed "Capracorn" by the system, but are handled with masterful hands that rise above the schmaltz created by so many others. Besides little guys he also flooded his movies with eccentric characters standing out in a world full or normal folk. Arsenic and Old Lace and You Can't Take it With You are standouts of this form. Sadly, A Hole in the Head tries to mix both of these Capra types and fails on both accounts.

The film is the second to last picture ever made by Capra and was the beginning of an attempted comeback from a few years break from making Hollywood pictures. But instead of a comeback this film serves only to remind us of what Capra used to be. Frank Sinatra plays a down on his luck big dreamer who is about to be evicted from his hotel business in Miami, Florida. He calls up his brother, Edward G Robinson and sister-in-law Thelma Ritter for help pretending his son is sick. Robinson and wife quickly head down from New York to see what's going on. Hilarity and sentimentality ensue. Swinging Sinatra butts heads with button down Robinson until a quick ending and easy solution are found.

The performances of the stars are fine. At this point in their careers Sinatra and Robinson are essentially playing themselves. Although Sinatra is more up and coming to the declining Robinson. There are some good jokes and the simple story is fair enough as it is. Capra fills Sinatra's hotel with an odd collection of eccentrics that seem to have no other purpose but to fill up some time and tell a few jokes. The ending of the movie seems tied on and creates changes to some characters without any real provocation. The cheese factor is high even for a Capra film and it's not subdued by any superb performances. The drama is not elevated above the schlock you would see in a made for TV movie.

The stand out of the film is Sinatra and son singing the classic "High Hopes." Being a fan of Sinatra more as a singer than actor this amusing break in the middle of the picture helped keep my hopes up for a decent picture. Those hopes were not shattered, nor were they completely fulfilled. For beginners of "Capracorn" you should pick out some of his earlier, superior films. But for a lonely night in need of some corny sentiment, this is some fluffy candy that just might fill.

More reviews at www.midnitcafe.blogspot.com


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