6.4/10
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33 user 26 critic

A Hole in the Head (1959)

Approved | | Comedy | 15 July 1959 (USA)
An impractical widower tries to hang onto his Miami hotel and his 12-year-old son.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (play)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
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...
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Julius Manetta (as Jimmy Komack)
...
Fred
George DeWitt ...
Mendy Yales
...
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! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

15 July 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Eine Nummer zu groß  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

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

The final scene along the beach includes several shots where there are some hills evident along the distant coastline. This was obviously not shot along the coast near Miami Florida. See more »

Quotes

Fred: Life is just a bowl of cherries
Tony Manetta: Why
Fred: I don't know. I ain't a philosopher!
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: Humanoid Woman (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

For He's a Jolly Good Fellow
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung by all at the hotel
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Underrated Gem
2 January 2001 | by (Hollywood) – See all my reviews

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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