Tuesday, April 02, 2013


Shown as part of a Turner Classic Movies tribute to William Gargan, this sad-sack comedy confirms my theory that some actors just weren't meant to be leading types. Gargan is fine as a sidekick (in movies like THE SPORT PARADE) but as a lead, even in a short B-film like this, he generally just doesn't have the stuff--though I did enjoy him in the earlier HEADLINE SHOOTER.  Of course, it doesn't help that the movie is badly written and directed. Gargan is a hotel PR man who is desperate to create some buzz for his new employer, the Ritz. To impress a young lady he's sweet on (Patricia Ellis), he hires as head chef her brother (Erik Rhodes), who claims enthusiastically to be a great cook. What Gargan doesn't know (and what his sidekick Allen Jenkins finds out) is that Rhodes' cooking actually makes people nauseous; it's the Old-Country mother (Bodil Rosing) who makes the delicious meals. There is a great deal of frantic movement and shouting, but little of it makes any real impression. The plot could have worked, but the weak acting of the romantic leads and the bland direction sink it without a chance. Jenkins does what he can to liven things up, but it's really a lost cause. The only reason to sit through this is Erik Rhodes (pictured; the guy who can't quite remember the phrase "Chance in the fool's name for fate" in THE GAY DIVORCEE), who is excellent as the clueless but good-hearted numbskull chef. [TCM]

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