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 <email@example.com>
The 1950s had a number of strong films, and this is one of them. It's not what most people would call a black comedy, but I do. I agree with the previous poster who called this an under-rated gem.
First of all, I like Sinatra better as an actor than as a singer; he's also really strong in the original version of the Manchurian Candidate and in The Man With the Golden Arm.
This film reminds me a bit of the much more recent "Full Monty," with a middle-aged father who acts like a young adolescent who is essentially being parented by a pre-teen son who has had to grow up too fast. That's what I mean by black comedy; it's a situation that is so sad (and, alas, so common) that you have to laugh to keep from crying. (Another comparison, but not quite as apt, is to "A Thousand Clowns.") Sinatra's character is matched by that of his girlfriend, who says, without a trace of irony to the idea of having a baby, "I'm a baby myself."
It wasn't until I came here just now that I realized this was directed by Frank Capra; I should have been able to guess it.
Everyone mentions "High Hopes," and rightly so, as a terrific (and award-winning) song. But you gotta love any movie that has a tune about how "The monkeys have no tails in Zamboanga."
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