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William T. Hurtz
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>
I had never seen this movie before renting it the other night and was surprised to see it was directed by Frank Capra. Once I watched it, I wasn't surprised anymore. This was a wonderful film driven by characters rather than plot devices and an example of vintage Capra.
The performances are what make the film. Frank Sinatra was great as a self-centered dreamer with a new idea every minute and some method of working the system. The guy's a heel but he still manages to keep our sympathy. Edward G. Robinson is hilarious as his much-put-upon brother who is constantly making social gaffes and never figures out how to sit in that rocking chair! Despite the fact that his character is a comic figure, there are some scenes of real poignancy between him and Sinatra. The ever reliable Thelma Ritter is also very funny as Robinson's caring and weepy wife. Eleanor Parker! Wow! I never saw her look so good. There wasn't enough of her in this film but perhaps that's when you know a character succeeds, when you wish to see more of them. Her gentle elegance was a perfect contrast to Carolyn Jones' character's unabashed self-absorption. And Eddie Hodges was perfect as the boy old beyond his years who stubbornly loves his father no matter what.
And the ending is happy (Hey, it's a Capra film!)without resorting to any schmaltzy plot devices.
It was well worth my time.
11 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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