Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


SHE COULDN'T SAY NO (1940). Director: William Clemens.
Alice Hinsdale (Eve Arden) is the fiancee of a lawyer, Wally Turnbull (Roger Pryor), who doesn't have much business. When an opportunity for a case with an important pay-off comes in when Wally is out of town, Alice poses as the non-existent partner (the one who "handles" all the bills) and travels to a small town to defend an elderly man, Eli Potter (Clem Bevans) against a breach of promise suit. Unfortunately, it turns out that Wally has already decided to represent the woman, Pansy Hawkins (Vera Lewis) who is suing Eli, making for an uncomfortable situation, to say the least. This is a very cute picture with amusing performances and many funny lines (although some might find it a bit much that Alice gets rid of Pansy's tippling lawyer by exposing him to alcohol.) Other stand-out cast members include Zeffie Tilbury as Pansy's mother; Cliff Edwards as Turnbull's associate Banjo Page; Chester Clute as Ezra Pine; and Irving Bacon (Ethel's father on I Love Lucy) as Abner Prestler. One senses that smart and sassy Alice can do a lot better than Turnbull. Funniest moment: Pansy says she's 26!
Verdict: Lots of fun. ***.

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