6.7/10
1,170
22 user 8 critic

The Hucksters (1947)

A World War II veteran wants to return to advertising on his own terms, but finds it difficult to be successful and maintain his integrity.

Director:

Jack Conway

Writers:

Frederic Wakeman (novel), Luther Davis (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Clark Gable ... Victor Albee Norman
Deborah Kerr ... Kay Dorrance
Sydney Greenstreet ... Evan Llewellyn Evans
Adolphe Menjou ... Mr. Kimberly
Ava Gardner ... Jean Ogilvie
Keenan Wynn ... Buddy Hare
Edward Arnold ... David 'Dave' Lash
Aubrey Mather ... Mr. Glass, Valet
Richard Gaines ... Cooke
Frank Albertson ... Max Herman
Douglas Fowley ... Georgie Gaver
Clinton Sundberg ... Michael Michaelson
Gloria Holden ... Mrs. Kimberly
Connie Gilchrist ... Betty - Switchboard Operator
Kathryn Card Kathryn Card ... Miss Regina Kennedy
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Storyline

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 <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Love That Gable ! Love That Girl, Kerr (who rhymes with star) ! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 August 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Marchands d'illusions See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,300,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The novel spent a half year (35 weeks) in the top stratum of the bestseller list, aided perhaps by its raunchy, racy controversy. Life magazine called the book "last year's best-selling travesty". See more »

Goofs

At the Kimberly's apartment, Kay sits at the opposite end of a couch from Mrs. Kimberly. In the next shot they are sitting side by side. See more »

Quotes

Jean Ogilvie: Wanna secretary, Mr. Norman?
Victor Albee Norman: How's your shorthand?
Jean Ogilvie: [Adding to the double-entendre] Some people like it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #22.12 (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Tell Me
(uncredited)
Written by Buddy Pepper
Sung by Eileen Wilson (Ava Gardner singing voice)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Bits better than the Stars
11 May 2009 | by ilprofessore-1See all my reviews

This is a pretty poor movie overall, particularly in its overblown romantic scenes with Lennie Hayton's syrupy MGM strings pounding out the emotions. Its best moments, and there are many, must come from Fredrick Wakeman's 1946 novel—at its time one of the first exposés of the advertising and talent agency business. Most of the screenplay seems watered down by today's standards, most likely sanitized not to offend two of Hollywood's power brokers, Leo Stein and Lou Wasserman of MCA, said to be the prototypes. On the other hand, if you have ever wondered why Ava Gardner in her first major part broke Sinatra's heart when she left him, just take a look at her under Harold Rosson's soft-focus big studio glamor lighting. At the time the picture was made she was twenty-five year's old and absolutely ravishing! Deborah Kerr, playing a stereotypical upper-class Englishwoman, simply can't compete with the gorgeous Ava; Deborah has very little to do here other than to be vedy vedy British and the voice of Integrity. There are some wonderful on- the-nose scenes about the biz, however, with Edward Arnold and Adolphe Menjou, perfectly cast and doing what they did so superbly film after film, to say nothing about the great Sydney Greenstreet at his most gross physically and morally. But it is Keenan Wynn who walks away with the picture, playing a thoroughly obnoxious and untalented stand-up comic with jokes so bad that even Milton Berle wouldn't have stolen them. It takes great talent to make someone so bad seem good.


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