Monday, June 10, 2002


I was anxious to see this since it has three of my favorite Warners supporting players of the 30's: Frank McHugh, Allen Jenkins, and Joan Blondell, and McHugh has the lead, a rare occurrance as far as I know. It was fairly funny, but had a few too many lulls to be a total success. It's based on a very popular stage comedy of the time and it does remain rather stagebound. You can sense the cast trying a little too hard to be farcical. McHugh is a henpecked husband who writes greeting card verses and who, in his free time, picks horse race winners for fun--and all of his picks really do win. He happens to fall in with some small-time hoods who want to use his infallible sixth sense to haul in some big bucks. He winds up in trouble with his wife, his brother-in-law (the only completely despicable character in the movie), his boss (Guy Kibbee) and the hoods. Blondell does a great Brooklyn accent and shines whenever she's on screen, which isn't often enough. Sam Levene is the main gambler and he's OK--I mostly remember him playing cops in a couple of THIN MAN movies and in MAD MISS MANTON. The funniest running gags involve the reactions the hoods have when they read McHugh's Mother's Day verses--they practically think he's Shakespeare! Pleasant but not a neglected gem.

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