A former reporter comes back home after serving in the army during World War I and finds that it's much more difficult to find work than he expected. Desperate, one day he crashes a wedding...
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In 1917 Lt. Bill Gordon is headed for France when he meets and becomes friendly with Joel Carter, niece of the Asst. Secretary of War. Finding out that he is an expert on codes, she gets ... See full summary »
William K. Howard,
A former reporter comes back home after serving in the army during World War I and finds that it's much more difficult to find work than he expected. Desperate, one day he crashes a wedding attended by many of the city's rich and powerful, meets a beautiful girl named Kay who turns out to be his ticket to meeting those rich and powerful people, and he soon manages to land a job on a newspaper. He gets caught up in the "make money at all costs" game, but receives a rude awakening when the stock market crashes in 1929. The Depression's lows uncovers new plateaus this Vet couldn't foresee while raking in the big bucks. Spiritual nudges helps Our Man to finally see the light that money can't buy everything, especially the love and happiness he's been searching for.Written by
The idea was interesting, and while it was somewhat odd to see them together due to their performing styles being so completely different from one another William Powell, Esther Williams, Angela Lansbury and James Gleason were highly talented performers and always watchable.
All have done much better work than 'The Hoodlum Saint', both in terms of performances and in films. 'The Hoodlum Saint' has its moments and redeeming values but it doesn't really come together, feeling disjointed for want of a word. It's very nicely shot in black and white, and hauntingly scored. The songs performed by Angela Lansbury (though dubbed very well by Doreen Tryden, though it was a strange decision as Lansbury is a more than capable singer.
While the acting was a mixed bag on the whole, Lansbury really enlivens the proceedings in a charmingly perky performance and comes off best in the cast. James Gleason looks as though he was enjoying himself thoroughly, as does Frank McHugh.
Powell was a great actor but this is not one of his best performances, he has been more engaged before and since and is somewhat too clean cut for a role requiring a rougher edge. Williams is cast against type, but while she is radiant it is a rather bland performance in a one-dimensional role. The chemistry isn't there, and Norman Taurog's direction is often mechanical.
Scripting is pretty witless and dreary, but it is the story that is 'The Hoodlum Saint's' biggest failure. It's dully paced, with a good deal of convolution and situations resolved too easily. Tone is an issue too, starting with a more comedic touch and then abruptly shifting into drama and it feels like a completely different film and comes over as disjointed.
All in all, certainly not unwatchable and worth a one-time watch for curiosity's sake but doesn't really come together. 5/10 Bethany Cox
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