Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Puff cigarettes sponsors a radio contest looking for the most average U.S. citizen based on usage of popular products; small-town guy Jack Haley is announced as the winner, but when PR men Adolphe Menjou and Jack Oakie discover that Haley’s choices matched up 100% with the national averages, they drum up an excuse to disqualify him. Their plan: to keep him under watch and see if his product choices and opinions on public issues can predict those of the populace. Sure enough, the PR company is able to perfectly chart up-and-coming trends based on Haley’s picks, but their luck may not hold when they try to stymie Haley’s romance with his hometown girlfriend Arlene Wheelen, who is chosen Miss World’s Fair; they’re afraid that Haley will lose his common touch. This second-feature satire starts off well, but loses energy in the last half, despite an amusing sequence in which, in order to gauge Haley’s opinions on isolationism, they infect him with a bad case of poison ivy (see picture) and sequester him in a hotel room while convincing him that war is about to break out. The three male stars are fine, as is Binnie Barnes as a PR assistant. Tony Martin sings occasionally for no particular reason. Haley, best known as Oz’s Tin Man, is a charming light comic leading man (see ONE BODY TOO MANY ; it’s a shame he never really hit it big beyond OZ. [FMC]

1 comment:

Jannette said...

I am surprised I never saw this movie. I love old movies. Thank you for writing about it.