Victor Norman is just out of the service and looking for a job in advertising. By playing hard to get, he figures that he can get a good job and a large salary. The first thing he has to do is get a war widow to endorse Beautee Soap - a client of the Kimberly Agency. He meets with Kay Dorrance and gets the endorsement and Mr. Evans, the head of Beautee Soap is temporarily happy. Victors job is now to work with Mr. Evans, a man who is a strict and demanding client. Everything should be rosy, but Victor, a bachelor, finds himself more attracted to Kay, a widow, than young single Jean Ogilvie.Written by
Tony Fontana <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Clark Gable initially turned down the film after reading the script. He said of the book, "It's filthy and it isn't entertainment." He accepted the role only after major alterations were made in the story, including changing Deborah Kerr's character from a married woman to a widow, and the toning down of the novel's sharp indictment of Madison Avenue. See more »
The shaving cream on Gable's face changes from the two-shot to the close-up and back again. See more »
The Hucksters has a lot of good clean fun with the advertising business of the 1940's. Clark Gable, newly discharged from the service, returns to his old haunts as an ad man and finds himself involved with two women, a tyrannical client, and an obnoxious, not too talented radio comedian. This is high class melodrama, and has some pretty good satirical moments, though I don't think that the guys who wrote it were as smart as they thought they were, it's a decent, watchable movie.
One can see Gable slipping into middle age here, and though he seems spry enough, he's clearly not the man he was five years earlier, and I couldn't help but feel a little sorry for him. Deborah Kerr and Ava Gardner are attractive if otherwise unremarkable as the women in his life. Sidney Greenstreet does a nice turn as the sinister, demanding client. Keenan Wynn's the one to watch here, as the (so-called) comedian Gable must contend with; and he does a smashing job, managing to be pathetic, sympathetic and obnoxious all at once, not, I imagine, an easy thing for an actor to do.
Worth keeping an eye out for: excellent production values from MGM's art department in its glory years. Marvelous sets, expert lighting. The movie is a pleasure to look at, if not always to listen to.
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