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Welcome to William Schoell's GREAT OLD MOVIES blog. Feel free to leave a comment regardless of the date the review was posted -- I read 'em all. Or if you prefer -- and especially if you have any questions directly for me -- email me at tawses67424@mypacks.net and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Click on a label link (labels can be found at the bottom of each post) to find other movies from that year, the star, that director or genre and so on. Or enter a title, director, genre, star or supporting player in the small Blogger "search blog" box at the far left up above and click search blog. [NOTE: While this blog mostly reviews films -- and TV shows -- that are at least twenty-five years old, we do cover films up until the present day.] HAVE FUN AND THANKS FOR DROPPING BY. William.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN

CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN (1950). Director: Walter Lang.

Inspired by real events, this film takes a serio-comic (mostly comic) look at the Gilbreth family, which consists of father Frank (Clifton Webb), wife Lillian (Myrna Loy), and eleven children with a twelfth on the way. Ann (Jeanne Crain), the oldest, wants to join her peers in wearing modern fashions and make up, which her father, a bit of an old poop at times, rails against. The film misrepresents Planned Parenthood with a dumb scene in which Mildred Natwick plays a representative of the organization who finds Gilbreth and his brood "disgusting" -- although the sequence when he has all the children (and his own) tonsils removed in the living room is a little strange as well. Webb is fine as the virile husband, but Loy gives an odd, once-removed performance, as if telling the world that this drab, matronly character is definitely not the real Myrna Loy. Crain and Betty Lynn as Deborah are better, but the picture is nearly stolen by talented little Jimmy Hunt as their mischievous brother, Billy. Cheaper by the Dozen is pleasant and entertaining. Steve Martin did a farcical remake many years later. Followed by Belles on Their Toes.

Verdict: Anything with Webb in it ... ***.

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