The Rev. Charles Parker a good guy: teaching baseball to boys, tearing his pants but not caring, planting flowers before finishing his sermon for the next day. The hobo telegraph (words on the back side of a billboard near the tracks) says he's the town's softest touch. George, a tramp, gets to Parker's house and thinks the reverend, torn clothes and all, is a fellow hobo. Charles invites George in, fixes him lunch, and, after a discussion about trust, gives George $10, the keys to the car of his daughter's boyfriend, and tells George to pick up roses for the Parkers' anniversary. Hours pass and George hasn't returned. Did the reverend believe his own sermon and trust the wrong man? Written by
This is an episode in a TV series done in the 1950's that was produced by Hal Roach Studios, but there's no slapstick to be found in these productions. Each week a well known motion picture director would direct a half hour production, and this time it was Allan Dwan, who had been directing since the days of early silent cinema, in the director's chair.
This particular episode is about a minister that believes in living his sermons. In particular he preaches about having faith in one's fellow man and he believes "it's always Sunday" in the sense that he tries to live this philosophy and more than that, he believes in this philosophy. The main matters of note here are the supporting players, two of which are from my favorite era in film, the early sound era. Fay Wray has a very small part in the production as the minister's wife. Not from the early sound era is Sheldon Leonard who figures prominently in the plot as a hobo whom the minister trusts with an expensive car that just happens to belong to someone else. By this time Leonard was beginning a long career as a producer of very popular TV shows, but he was always fun to watch as an actor with that unique gangster like voice of his.
I knew about these two performers being in this production before I watched it, but what made be do a double take was when the end credits rolled and I saw Grant Withers' name appear. I know Grant's face well from his early talkie leading roles at Warner Brothers and later supporting roles up into the 1940's, and I saw nobody that looked like Grant. I backed up the recording and realized he was playing the man whose expensive TBird may or may not have been stolen by the hobo. If I looked really close I could make out some familiar features but he was practically unrecognizable. However, that doesn't mean he looked bad or his performance was bad - he simply looked like a distinguished older gentleman who did a good job with the role he was given. How sad he committed suicide three years later because he felt he had let everyone in his life down.
I'd recommend this one because it's very upbeat and optimistic and has that too good to be true 50's picture of family life about it. It's also interesting to see how the audiences of the 50's still had places for the actors and directors of the past in their current productions.
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