|Index||3 reviews in total|
The Big Shot finds Guy Kibbee as a small town veterinarian who inherits
two million dollars from his uncle who unbeknownst to him was very
heavy in the rackets in the big city he lived in. So he and wife Cora
Witherspoon and their daughter Dorothy Moore go off to live in the
The demise of the uncle has left the mob consigliere Russell Hicks in charge of the far flung rackets. But he'd like to get power of attorney. But Kibbee is as reluctant as Gary Cooper was to give it to Douglass Dumbrille in Mr. Deeds Goes To Town. In fact Mr. Deeds seems to have inspired the minds at RKO who created this film.
All the comedy therein lies in the fact that no one, least of all Kibbee has a clear picture of what's going on. Kibbee in fact starts a citizen's league to clean up the town of rackets, but he doesn't tell Hicks.
Cora Witherspoon seems to have been the inspiration for Josephine Hull's character in Harvey. Her only concern is to break into society and get a suitable mate for Moore so she'll forget Gordon Jones who was her sweetheart back in the old home town.
I really did enjoy this B picture comedy from RKO. Though parts of it were taken from other sources, it was really original in thought and concept.
But think; just a little candor all around and this film would not exist.
While the score of 9 is exceptionally high, I think it's merited if
this short movie is compared to other B-movies of the era. The
"B-movie", if you don't know, is a low budget short movie (usually
about an hour) that was made as a second feature in a double feature.
In other words, you'd have an "A-picture" (a top film with top stars
and budget), a short film or cartoon (or both), a newsreel and also a
B-movie--all for the price of admission in the 1930s and 40s. Often,
people assumed that B's were bad or ultra-cheap films and while this
often was the case, there were quite a few B's that are actually more
entertaining and memorable than the A's. As for me, I love
B's--particularly well-made ones or the B series films (such as the
Crime Doctor or Charlie Chan series, for example).
As far as B's go, they don't get much better than this one. Much of this is due to the exceptionally good writing for this film. The movie is very original and filled with wonderful gags and twists. Additionally, the star, Guy Kibbee, was his usually affable and enjoyable self. As usual, the film begins with him being a bit of a boob, but you see during the film he's actually pretty smart and naturally ends up showing everyone--but the journey there is quite enjoyable. In many ways, this persona is like a non-intoxicated and more likable W. C. Fields--such as in his movies IT'S A GIFT and YOU'RE TELLING ME--where the lead is actually much smarter than people assume and he ends up making good by the end.
Very enjoyable, clever and entertaining--this is about as much as you could expect from a B.
Having starred in a toned-down version of Sinclair Lewis' Babbit, Guy
Kibbee was considered enough of a leading player to star in B movies --
in this case as a small-town dentist who inherits two million dollars
from an uncle who, unknown to Guy and family, was a leading racketeer.
Instead he and his wife -- played abrasively by Cora Witherspoon as a
Mrs. Malaprop -- and daughter abandon their small town life to attempt
to make a splash in society.
Although no classic, director Killy -- who spent most of his career directing B westerns -- shows a nice light touch in this outing. At only an hour, it is a pleasant enough example of its type of social comedy to be worth your while.
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