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She Couldn't Say No (1952)

A wealthy heiress returns to a small Arkansas town to furtively reward the townsfolk who helped to save her life when she was a young girl.

Director:

Lloyd Bacon

Writers:

D.D. Beauchamp (screenplay), William Bowers (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Robert Mitchum ... Doctor Robert Sellers
Jean Simmons ... Corby Lane
Arthur Hunnicutt ... Odie Chalmers
Edgar Buchanan ... Ed Meeker
Wallace Ford ... Joe Wheelen
Raymond Walburn ... Judge Hobart
Jimmy Hunt ... Digger
Ralph Dumke Ralph Dumke ... Sheriff
Hope Landin ... Miss McMurtry
Gus Schilling Gus Schilling ... Ed Gruman
Eleanor Todd ... Sally Watson
Pinky Tomlin ... Elmer Wooley
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Storyline

As usual with most of the RKO films from this era "presented" by RKO-owner Howard Hughes, the PCA number is usually 500-1000 digits lower than the one from other studios being released at the time, indicating it was released a year or more after it was completed. This one finds heiress Corby Lane (Jean Simmons) coming to a small Arkansas town to play Santa Claus because, when she was a small child traveling with her impoverished father, the townspeople saved her life by donating money needed for medical treatment. She meets and falls in love with "Doc" Sellers (Robert Mitchum), an easy-going doctor who enjoys fishing and the unhurried pace of the town. Corby's gesture of handing out money and lavish gifts to the citizens backfires when, after it has been publicized, the town becomes the destination of every wayward traveler and fortune seeker. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Just wait till you see 'Doc' Mitchum operate !

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 February 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Likely Story See more »

Filming Locations:

Agoura, California, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Opening credits: The characters and events depicted in this photoplay are fictional. Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. See more »

Goofs

If a person honked her car horn as often as Simmons did, she'd be arrested for disturbing the peace. In addition, she abused the medical-alert horn for frivolous reasons, another misdemeanour. See more »

Quotes

Odie Chalmers: As sheriff of this county, I arrest you on three counts: count o' you parked your car in the bus space; count of assault and battery and count of you ain't no account
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Curious Entry in the Mitchum Canon of Films
4 June 2014 | by l_rawjalaurenceSee all my reviews

SHE COULDN'T SAY NO is a fascinating entry in the canon of Robert Mitchum films; it is comedy set in a small Arkansas town in which he plays a doctor with a passion for fishing. Life proceeds in a calm unhurried manner until spoiled rich girl Korby Lane (Jean Simmons) pays an extended visit. With more money than sense, she makes every effort to make the citizens' life better by giving them presents and/or gifts of cash, as she believes she has a debt to reply to the town, for having saved her life when she was a little girl. Unfortunately she only succeeds in creating chaos. Lloyd Bacon's film (his final work in a long career) has a strong moral tone to it, suggesting quite overtly that money is the root of all evil. D. D. Beauchamp's and William Powers' screenplay has some sharp one-liners in it, allowing Mitchum to display his talent for throwaway observations (something equally evident in the interviews he gave over the years on television). The film also has some strong character-performances by Arthur Hunnicutt (as Odie, a recovering alcoholic with a penchant for non sequiturs such as "It's very Monday today, isn't it"); Wallace Ford (as a splenetic vet); and Hope Landin (as a maternal boarding-house keeper). Simmons' costumes are a continual source of attention, especially when compared with the rather dowdy attire of the citizens; it's clear she is trying her best to draw people's gazes towards her. In terms of ideology. SHE COULDN'T SAY NO is redolent of mid-Fifties attitudes towards women, suggesting that they are not "fulfilled" unless they get married and have children. Hence the ending is rather wearily predictable. But nonetheless there are some incidental pleasures along the way, not least the sequence where Mitchum brings boxes of diapers to one of his patients' houses, only to find that Korby has (anonymously) sent a huge pile already. The sight of Mitchum's face, a mixture of anger and sheer bewilderment, is a sight to behold, reminding us - if we didn't already know - of his versatility as a film actor, despite his public protestations to the contrary.


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