Clifton Webb recreates his Sitting Pretty role as Mr. Lynn Belvedere, the World's Greatest Genius. Belvedere discovers that he is ineligible for an honorary award because he never attended ... See full summary »
An urbane, sharp-tongued expert on how to stay young interrupts a lecturing tour to prove his theory at a dilapidated old people's home. To the despair of his agent and the alarm of the ... See full summary »
"Cheaper By the Dozen", based on the real-life story of the Gilbreth family, follows them from Providence, Rhode Island to Montclair, New Jersey, and details the amusing anecdotes found in ... See full summary »
A bachelor author of sleazy books moves to a family-oriented subdivision where he becomes an unofficial relationship advisor to unhappy local housewives, to the dismay of their respective husbands who suspect him of sexual misconduct.
In 1936, seven prisoners escape from a concentration camp. Nazis put up seven crosses for demonstrative executions. The story focuses on one of the fugitives, who relies on own courage and compassion of people to avoid the seventh cross.
Tacey and Harry King are a suburban couple with three sons and a serious need of a babysitter. Tacey puts an ad in the paper for a live-in babysitter, and the ad is answered by Lynn Belvedere. But when she arrives, she turns out to be a man. And not just any man, but a most eccentric, outrageously forthright genius with seemingly a million careers and experiences behind him. Mr. Belvedere works miracles with the children and the house but the Kings have no idea just what he's doing with his evenings off. And when Harry has to go out of town on a business trip, a nosy parker starts a few ugly rumors. But everything comes out all right in the end thanks to Mr. Belvedere.Written by
This is one of the few (if any) films which shows what an accomplished dancer Clifton Webb was. During his Broadway career, he was known for his dancing and his singing, as well as his comedy. See more »
Roddy spills hot cereal on Belvedere's sleeve at breakfast. Belvedere's sleeve is clean in every subsequent shot. See more »
This was one of the most popular movies of 1948, and is still sweetly amusing. What impresses me on this latest viewing is how well actor Webb and screenwriter Herbert carry off their trick. The challenge is to keep the audience from reaching through the screen to throttle the stuffy, know-it-all, Belvedere (Webb). In short, a dislikable Belvedere would ruin the movie. So how do you, on one hand, establish his needed superiority, and, on the other, not let it ruin the comedy. After all, it's his unusual character that distinguishes the story as a whole.
As I see it, Webb and the dialog handle the challenge by making Belvedere a strictly matter-of-fact character. He says he's a genius, because as a matter of fact, he is. Crucially, he's not bragging— that would make him dislikable. Instead, he asserts his superiority much like a scientist might impartially acknowledge a fact. He's not egotistical about his accomplishments; instead, he's kind of like an impartial observer of himself. This doesn't exactly make him likable, but it does save the movie's pivotal character from being dislikable, at least as I see it. And I think it's a credit to the screenplay that they don't soften his unsociable character to maybe please the audience. All in all, I think Belvedere is a rather daring role for a comedy of its time.
Of course, it helps to have two of the screen's more likable younger actors, Young and O'Hara, as co-stars with Webb. Plus, having a fuss-budget like Haydn (the gossipy Appleton) in the same film as fuss-budget Webb sets up certain delectable possibilities. Then too, setting events in the white-collar suburbs mirrored post-war changes going on with audiences that were also getting back to family life following years of hardship and sacrifice. So, to me, it's not surprising the movie was such a hit in its day. And happily, I think it's still pretty amusing.
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