Friday, July 18, 2014

Nugget Reviews - 12


It Happens Every Spring ( 1949 ) 14k


A chemistry professor accidentally creates a liquid that repels wood and decides to apply it to a baseball and launch the St. Louis Cardinals to World Series glory...all the while creating a tidy sum in his pocket for his future bride as well. Ray Milland, Jean Peters, Paul Douglas, Ray Collins. Jessie Royce Landis. Twentieth Century Fox. Directed by Lloyd Bacon.

Milland seems to have the face of a melancholy villain more than a comedian but being the swell actor that he is, managed to pull off any role he was given. It Happens Every Spring is an amusing way to pass a few hours in spite of some puzzling script remarks and plot jumps. Paul Douglas is great as Milland's pal, Monk. Him and his hair tonic! 

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Let's Make It Legal ( 1951 ) 14k


A newlywed bride and her husband clash about whether to encourage or thwart the plans of her mother's remarriage. The mother's not-quite-ex husband is especially keen on seeing the plans fall through since he still loves his wife. Claudette Colbert, MacDonald Carey, Robert Wagner, Marilyn Monroe, Zachary Scott, Barbara Bates. Twentieth Century Fox. Directed by Richard Sale

Marilyn Monroe has only a brief part in this entertaining comedy but it has come to be recognized as a Marilyn Monroe picture nonetheless and can only be found in MM DVD sets. The real stars of the show are Colbert and Carey who make a great team and should have been cast in more films together. A young Wagner plays Colbert's level-headed son-in-law and Scott is, as always, charming as the cast-off suitor. A great little picture. 

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It Grows on Trees ( 1952 ) 14k


A couple are happy to discover that a tree in their backyard grows money, until the neighbors, the media, strangers and the tax collectors come begging for some of the money. Irene Dunne, Dean Jagger, Joan Evans, Richard Crenna. Universal Pictures. Directed by Arthur Lubin.

Yes, the old fantasy about finding a tree brimming with dollar bills was indeed turned into a film. Hollywood could not pass up such an ideal plot as that. Irene Dunne could get away with any part, but this one suits her especially. Polly Baxter is a woman who always sees the good in others and the orange glass as half full. People like that deserve to find money-growing trees in their backyard and this film just goes to show what really would happen if you find a tree like that in your own backyard. 

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Bedtime for Bonzo ( 1951 ) Elct.


A college professor attempts to prove that upbringing, not heredity, determines a mans morals and future path by trying to impart human morals to a chimp. Ronald Reagen, Diana Lynn, Walter Slezak, Jesse White. Universal Pictures. Directed by Frederick de Cordova.

Bonzo has its moments of amusement but overall it failed to live up to what we expected it would be. The story premise could have made a great comedy, and had the script been written better, the film made in 1942 with Howard Hawks as director and Cary Grant in the lead, it may have been. The way it is, it failed to ignite. Diana Lynn was charming as Jane, the "young mother" and it was good to see Slezak portraying an honest man for a change. 

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The Rocket Man ( 1954 ) 14k


A little orphan boy is given a toy ray-gun with special powers and uses it to help his foster family save the local orphanage. Spring Byington, George "Foghorn" Winslow Jr. , Anne Francis, Charles Coburn, John Agar. 20th Century Fox. Directed by Oscar Rudolph.

We're not quite sure what made this movie so entertaining, but it was. After George"Foghorn" Winslow Jr. became a sensation in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes he was tossed into a few lighthearted comedies of the 1950s. In The Rocket Man he gets the lead role and handles it quite capably. Of course, with such talented help as Byington, Coburn and Francis, who could go wrong? A good-hearted film to be sure. 

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