Screen Directors Playhouse: Meet the Governor (1955)
** (out of 4)
A rather strange comedy from Leo McCarey about redneck lawyer Clem Waters (Herb Shriner) who pretty much gets forced into the race for Governor. Before long the opponent digs up a wife (Barbara Hale) who he had thought had their marriage annulled years earlier. I've watched quite a few episodes from the Screen Directors Playhouse and I must say that this here was probably the most disappointing. I'm not sure if I should use the word disappointing considering I wasn't sure what to expect from the film but after the first few minutes it's clear that this is going to be a comedy with very few laughs. What's even worse is that there was an added laugh track, which is something I hadn't heard in other episodes. This laugh track was so distracting that it really took you out of the story that was going on. However, even without this track it's doubtful the movie would have been any better. The biggest problem is the actual story is told in such a silly way that the characters just come off very annoying. The Clem character was meant to good a "good ol' boy" but he just comes across as a fool and you don't believe for a second that he could be a lawyer. Just check out the opening sequence and you'll see what I mean. I also wasn't too impressed with Shriner's performance but the screenplay didn't give him much to work with. Hale comes off pretty good but it's Bobby Clark as the son who really steals the film. Being the first film in the series clearly things needed to be worked out and thankfully things got better.
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