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O. Henry's Full House (1952)

Approved | | Drama | 27 October 1952 (UK)
John Steinbeck introduces a quintet of five of O. Henry's most celebrated stories from his New York Period (1902-1910) in this anthology film.

Writers:

Lamar Trotti (screen play), Richard L. Breen (screen play) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Fred Allen ... Sam 'Slick' Brown (segment "The Ransom of Red Chief")
Anne Baxter ... Joanna Goodwin (segment "The Last Leaf")
Jeanne Crain ... Della (segment "The Gift of the Magi")
Farley Granger ... Jim (segment "The Gift of the Magi")
Charles Laughton ... Soapy (segment "The Cop and the Anthem")
Oscar Levant ... Bill Peoria (segment "The Ransom of Red Chief")
Marilyn Monroe ... Streetwalker (segment "The Cop and the Anthem")
Jean Peters ... Susan Goodwin (segment "The Last Leaf")
Gregory Ratoff ... Behrman (segment "The Last Leaf")
Dale Robertson ... Barney Woods (segment "The Clarion Call")
David Wayne ... Horace (segment "The Cop and the Anthem")
Richard Widmark ... Johnny Kernan (segment "The Clarion Call")
Joyce Mackenzie ... Hazel Woods (segment "The Clarion Call") (scenes deleted) (as Joyce MacKenzie)
Lee Aaker ... J.B. Dorset aka Red Chief (segment "The Ransom of Red Chief")
Richard Rober ... Chief of Detectives (segment "The Clarion Call")
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Storyline

"O. Henry's Full House" is a film divided in five segments telling five tales in the beginning of the Twentieth Century. 1) "The Cop and the Anthem": the winter is coming and the homeless drifter Soapy wants to go to jail for three months to get shelter and food. His partner Horace suggests they look for shelter with the Salvation Army, but Soapy refuses. He forces many situations to be arrested but he is always forgiven. When he goes to the church, there is a miracle and Soapy decides to seek a job position. Will he succeed? 2) "The Clarion Call": when a thief kills a man, the police investigators do not have any lead to follow. Police Sergeant Barney Woods sees a pen that was found in the crime scene and he seeks out a man called Johnny Kernan. He finds Johnny that invites Barney to drink with him and they go to his hotel room. Johnny recalls their youth, when they were friends but Barney tells that he must arrest him since he recognized the pen that belonged to Johnny. However the ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ransom | leaf | winter | murder | christmas | See All (40) »

Taglines:

A dozen top stars - five famed directors bring you the best stories of O. Henry!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 October 1952 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Baghdad on the Subway See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

When preview critics felt that "The Ransom of Red Chief" episode was weak, it was cut from the official premiere prints. When the film was released to television in the early 60's, the sequence was restored. See more »

Goofs

The third segment is supposed to take place in Greenwich Village, but the street sign indicates the location is near east 19th Street. The northern border of Greenwich Village is 14th Street. See more »

Quotes

Soapy: It may interest to you to know, my good man, that I and the minutest coin of the realm are total strangers.
Waiter: How's that?
Soapy: I said I was broke!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The "Ransom of Red Chief" segment was deleted after the film's initial engagements, then restored in the television prints. See more »

Connections

Version of Chertyonok s pushistym khvostom (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

O, Little Town of Bethlehem
(1868) (uncredited)
Music by Lewis H. Redner
Played in the background and sung by Farley Granger
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Five Wonderful Tales in the Beginning of the Twentieth Century
28 September 2016 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

"O. Henry's Full House" is a film divided in five segments telling five wonderful tales in the beginning of the Twentieth Century.

1) "The Cop and the Anthem": the winter is coming and the homeless drifter Soapy (Charles Laughton) wants to go to jail for three months to get shelter and food. His partner Horace (David Wayne) suggests they look for shelter with the Salvation Army, but Soapy refuses. He forces many situations to be arrested but he is always forgiven. When he goes to the church, there is a miracle and Soapy decides to seek a job position. Will he succeed?

Directed by Henry Koster, this segment tells an ironic story of a bum with top-notch performance of Charles Laughton and a cameo of Marilyn Monroe.

2) "The Clarion Call": when a thief kills a man, the police investigators do not have any lead to follow. Police Sergeant Barney Woods (Dale Robertson) sees a pen that was found in the crime scene and he seeks out a man called Johnny Kernan (Richard Widmark). He finds Johnny that invites Barney to drink with him and they go to his hotel room. Johnny recalls their youth, when they were friends but Barney tells that he must arrest him since he recognized the pen that belonged to Johnny. However the criminal recalls that Barney owes him $ 1,000 that Barney lost in a card game. Barney unsuccessfully tries to raise the money to quit the debt. He decides to tell to the Chief of Police but out of the blue, he sees the spotlight on "The Clarion Call" and and runs to the newspaper. What did he see?

Directed by Henry Hathaway, this segment tells the story of an honest policeman that has a debt with a criminal that is wanted by the police. Richard Widmark is excellent in the usual role of a felon.

3) "The Last Leaf": When the lover of the twenty-one year-old Joanna Goodwin (Anne Baxter) breaks up with her, she wanders on the snow and gets pneumonia. Her older sister Susan Goodwin (Jean Peters) finds that Joanna does not want to live anymore and is following the leaves that keep falling from a tree. Their upstairs neighbor, the painter Behrman (Gregory Ratoff), tries to help the girls the best he can. Will he be able to save Joanna?

Directed by Jean Negulesco, this is the most sensitive and touching segment, with a heartbreaking conclusion. Anne Baxter is very beautiful in the role of a young woman with broken heart.

4) "The Ransom of Red Chief": the con men Sam 'Slick' Brown (Fred Allen) and Bill Peoria (Oscar Levant) flee to the countryside in their car and plot to kidnap the boy J.B. Dorset (Lee Aaker) to ask for ransom to his parents. But soon they find that the boy is a little devil.

Directed by Howarks, the segment is a funny comedy about two confidence men that make a wrong move kidnapping an evil boy. Lee Aaker's character seems to be Dennis, the Menace, created in 1951.

5) "The Gift of the Magi": In Christmas Eve, Della (Jeanne Crain) and her beloved husband Jim (Farley Granger) are penniless and in love with each other. Jim dreams on giving a tiara to Della since she has a wonderful hair and Della wants to give a chain to the pocket watch of Jim. On the Christmas night, they find a way to buy the gifts.

Directed by Henry King, this segment is a delightful love story with an ironic and funny conclusion.

My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Páginas da Vida" ("Pages of the Life")


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