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I did it the wrong way around--as I saw the sequel to this ("Corky of Gasoline Alley") before the original film "Gasoline Alley". But, since I enjoyed this second film, I sought out this first one. It appears that Columbia Pictures was trying to create some sort of B-movie series--much like the Blondie and Dagwood films. But, as they only made two of them, it's obvious that the series never really caught on with the public.
Gasoline Alley was a comic strip that followed a family. Unlike many strips, this one aged over the years--and America watched the family expand and have various minor adventures. Much of the strip's history is summarized in the first five minutes of the film. Then the plot itself unfolds. The youngest son, Corky, arrives home unexpectedly. He's dropped out of college and married Hope. Now the two move in with his family and Corky is looking to start some sort of career. Eventually, he and some friends decide to open up a diner and they know their work is cut out for them--as restaurants so often fail. Can Corky and his new bride make it or will they give up, go on relief and end up committing a string of strong-armed robberies and murders before succumbing in a hail of police bullets? Well, actually, I made up all the last stuff, as this IS a family drama--a light and enjoyable one at that. No cops, no killing--just good 'ol wholesomeness. And, while it's not a super-exciting film or a laugh a minute, it's enjoyable and sweet--and well worth your time if you enjoy well made B-movies.
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