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This movie comes from a time when movies were still movies. No quick cuts, only one popular music track, but a good old fashioned story of a grandfatherly former Vaudevillian befriending a troubled teen.
You've got to love George Burns. You just have to. There's no reason not to. To me his quips, even though I understood the humor when this movie hit the theatre, is more endearing and funnier now with more punch than when I first saw the film.
That, and the humor is clean without being childish. It's smart without having to be high-minded. The script is witty and Burns' performance is on the money for a man of his caliber or character.
And there's Brooke, who, unlike her later roles, actually does a pretty decent job of portraying the wayward teen. Brooke knows this girl's character and is given fairly decent direction as to how to portray her.
If I had one complaint it's that dialogue, at times, seems a little too mature for Booke's character, but that's more of a fault of the old guard Hollywood screenwriters who channel themselves through the characters they pen.
Veteran stars come in to play support roles making for a very likable hour and a half light comedy. The plot driving the story forward is a little hard, but socially responsible films function to show the pitfalls of possible criminal behavior, and how innocents (and not so innocent) get caught up in nefarious doings. As such we have a light tone for what could have been a hard look at teenage delinquency.
George Burns and Brooke Shields actually have a pretty good chemistry here, almost that one wishes they had done a few more films together.
Either way, the film is now out on DVD thanks to SONY and Columbia Pictures archives. Grab a copy and watch it on a lazy weekend afternoon.
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