5.9/10
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15 user 1 critic

The Big Hangover (1950)

Approved | | Comedy | 26 May 1950 (USA)
A law school graduate is hired by a top law firm but hides from them a secret about a problem he has--he is so allergic to alcohol that one whiff of it and he passes out like a light.

Director:

Norman Krasna

Writer:

Norman Krasna
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Van Johnson ... David Muldon
Elizabeth Taylor ... Mary Belney
Percy Waram ... John Belney
Fay Holden ... Martha Belney
Leon Ames ... Carl Bellcap
Edgar Buchanan ... Uncle Fred Mahoney
Selena Royle ... Kate Mahoney
Gene Lockhart ... Charles Parkford
Rosemary DeCamp ... Claire Bellcap
Philip Ahn ... Dr. Lee
Gordon Richards Gordon Richards ... Williams, the Chauffeur
Matt Moore ... Mr. Rumlie
Pierre Watkin ... Samuel C. Long
Russell Hicks ... Steve Hughes
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Storyline

A law school graduate is hired by a top law firm but doesn't tell them about a problem he has--he's so allergic to alcohol that one whiff of it and he passes out like a light. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Van's New Girl - What a Dish!

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 May 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Drink to Me Only See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,026,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,320,000, 31 December 1950

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,626,000, 31 December 1950
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

This film barely broke even at the box office, earning MGM a profit of $25,000 ($265,000 in 2018) according to studio records. See more »

Quotes

David Muldon: Why couldn't I just have gotten shot in the war, like everybody else?
See more »

Connections

References The Lost Weekend (1945) See more »

Soundtracks

At Sundown (When Love Is Calling Me Home)
(uncredited)
Written by Walter Donaldson
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The bizarre hangover
25 October 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

'The Big Hangover' did intrigue me. The premise sounded very silly but it seemed oddly interesting and comedy and seriousness together has been done well on film a number of times. Love classic film too, but the biggest drawer was the cast, full of performers that are generally watchable. Elizabeth Taylor especially at her best was great.

Not much to add to what has been said very well by the other commentators, but 'The Big Hangover' took its potentially silly premise and executes it in an even sillier and at times utterly bizarre fashion. It is not a terrible film and has merits, but it mostly left me cold despite on paper liking and admiring what it was trying to do and say. It just didn't come together and came over as strange and not in a particularly good way.

Its best asset is the cast. Van Johnson excels in a difficult role, the subdued quality to his acting fitting the character well, while Taylor charms and looks lovely in one of her earliest adult character roles, exuding a good deal of warmth. All the supporting cast fare well, but the standout performance came from Leon Ames, who is amusing and sincere with the highlight moment of the film.

Visually it looks good, shot with a lot of effort and care. The music fits nicely and is pleasant enough in its own right. There are some amusing moments, thanks to some expert comic timing from the cast, and also moments of charm. Ames' speech at the end strikes a chord and is very memorable, by far the highlight of the writing.

However, 'The Big Hangover' didn't for me come together as a mix of comedy and seriousness and both on their own are patchy in how they come across. The comedy has too many moments where it is far too silly and contrived and the seriousness veers on too preachy. The low point was the dinner party scene, as a scene it was misplaced and the humour was distasteful. The racism subplot was well intended but suffered from having the subtlety of a sledgehammer. The direction is hardly inept but somewhat uninspired and with not much distinction.

From a story perspective, any worries of it being silly does come true sadly and in a way that's very contrived and try too hard. It's also rather disjointed in trying to balance the comedy and seriousness and having too many instances of the shifts in tone being too abrupt and jarring, creating the bizarreness factor and the sense that the film wasn't completely sure what it wanted to be. The script could have done with more sharpness and focus and while the film is not dull as such there is not an awful lot that engages properly, there are moments but one wants a film consistent all the way through.

Overall, well cast and has some good moments but a very odd film. 5/10 Bethany Cox


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