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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>
This is film is a rare commodity as a Hollywood product - a wonderful "little" film. By little, I mean unpretentious. Perhaps this is because Frank Capra had a talent for telling inspirational, uplifting or "message" stories without seeming to preach. We all know the Ralph Cramden character
the botched hero with "high hopes". This is Frank Sinatra's Tony Maneta.
Unlike Jimmy Stewart's George Bailey in Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life," Tony Maneta isn't beset by problems circumstantial so much as personal. Yet, whether the antagonist is an ungrateful world or a character flaw, Capra and playwright/screenwriter Arnold Schulman recognize the abiding nobility of the human spirit's determination to overcome the odds.
I love the setting in "Hole in the Head". It's a treat to see South Miami Beach during a period when formerly glamorous hotels had gone to seed, knowing that they would one day rise again. I don't think anyone would have given them a chance at the time of the story, just like Tony Maneta's prospects. But "Hole in the Head" makes us want to believe, that just by surviving, like South Beach, Tony will one day triumph.
By the way, there's a wonderful performance by the underappreciated Eddie Hodges, whose minor billing is unjustified, considering his character's major part in the story.
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