Still, it's only a mild comedy, at best.
Wealthy old man Alden Greenstreet takes a shine to working stiff Wilson Clark , equipping him with a super modern gas station, except Wilson doesn't know Alden's true identity. Meanwhile, a white-collar gang of extortionists tries to muscle in on the highly profitable set-up.
Sounds convoluted because it is, especially when Alden's snappish daughter Vickers is added to the mix. Most of the comedy comes from the mix-up of true identities. Seems poor Wilson doesn't know who anyone really is. Greenstreet's both tough and amiable, which helps create the proper tongue-in-cheek mood, while Clark manages a regular guy attitude to go along with his blue-collar looks. Plus, Vickers is drop-dead beautiful, but has a very waspish attitude. Her barbs with Wilson, however, lend humorous grit to the proceedings. But the movie never really gels as a comedy, while the extortion angle seems an unneeded and unamusing complication.
Too bad Alan Hale's typically jovial character doesn't get more screen time.
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The real problem, however, is with the slack direction. Whatever deCordova's skills as director of the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, they don't show here. Instead, there's no needed snap or drive to heighten the slender comedic effect. Thus, the movie unfolds in strictly pedestrian fashion. All in all, the movie's chief attraction may be in seeing some well-known 40's actors playing outside their usual stereotypes. Start your free trial. Find showtimes, watch trailers, browse photos, track your Watchlist and rate your favorite movies and TV shows on your phone or tablet!
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