In early 1900s' Pennsylvania, Mr. Pennypacker has two company offices and two families with a combined total of 17 children. With an office in Harrisburg and an office in Philadelphia, he ...
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Thornton Sayre, a respected college professor, is plagued when his old movies are shown on TV and sets out with his daughter to stop it. However, his former co-star is the hostess of the TV show playing his films and she has other plans.
An urbane, sharp-tongued expert on how to stay young interrupts a lecturing tour to prove his theory at a dilapidated old people's home. To the despair of his agent and the alarm of the ... See full summary »
Industrial designer Howard Osborne (Clifton Webb) wants his daughter Jacqueline (Anne Francis), shortened to Jake by her efficient-minded father, to follow in his footsteps and study abroad... See full summary »
Clifton Webb recreates his Sitting Pretty role as Mr. Lynn Belvedere, the World's Greatest Genius. Belvedere discovers that he is ineligible for an honorary award because he never attended ... See full summary »
In early 1900s' Pennsylvania, Mr. Pennypacker has two company offices and two families with a combined total of 17 children. With an office in Harrisburg and an office in Philadelphia, he has successfully kept two separate homes. However, when an emergency requires his oldest son to find him, Mr. Pennypacker's dual life is revealed. Written by
Clifton Webb was always a difficult person to cast - in the 1940s and 1950s they just did not make movies where he would have fit perfectly: films where his character was openly gay. There are elements in his films (especially in LAURA and THE DARK CORNER and THE RAZOR'S EDGE) that suggest a high strung, waspy, near - homosexual type. So does his Mr. Belvedere. But throughout the 1950s his films concentrated on him as a father (frequently with large families) and a husband - even (in DREAMBOAT) a sexy movie idol of the silent period! This film is of those "family oriented" comedies that Webb made in the 1950s. As pointed out, it was based on a Broadway comedy, and it probably was purchased with Webb in mind. With his ability to personify intellectual types, he fits the free-thinking Horace Pennypacker.
The Pennypacker family was actually quite distinguished in 19th Century Pennsylvania. One of them, General Galusha Pennypacker was a American Civil War hero, and Samuel Pennypacker was Governor of Pennsylvania from 1903 to 1907. As to an actual historical figure named Horace Pennypacker I cannot say (although one of the reviews on this thread suggest there may have been some reality about the situation regarding the bigamy.
However, the play turned film was dull. Webb tried to be funny (even skating at one point), but the dialog really was not very good. The best moment in the film is between Richard Deacon (a member of an organization like The Society to Suppress Vice or something like that) and Charles Coburn. Deacon has found that Pennypacker has been passing around (presumably freely) a booklet of a mildly risqué nature concerning biology. It has flip pictures (you flip the pictures and they look like they move). Unfortunately Deacon has never had Horace Pennypacker pointed out to him. So when he sees Charles Coburn leaving his grandson's (Webb's) home, he concludes that Coburn is Horace Pennypacker. He confronts Coburn, and asks, "Are you Mr. Pennypacker?" "Yes", says the mildly annoyed Coburn. "Of Pennypacker & Co.?", asks Deacon. "Yes, yes...what do you want with me?!", shouts Coburn. "THIS!", says a triumphant Deacon - he flips the pages of the book in front of Coburn's face. "BaH!!", shouts Coburn, who knocks the book out of Deacon's hands. "You assaulted me...yes you did!!", says Deacon and he signals a waiting policeman who drags a protesting Coburn away (he later apparently straightens out the mistake, for he shows up to confront Webb before the end of the film).
It was a mildly amusing moment in the film - and the best one, unfortunately. One has to admit that THE REMARKABLE MR. PENNYPACKER was one of the weaker features that Clifton Webb made in Hollywood.
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