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

Thursday, May 27, 2021


(1956). Director: Jacques Tourneur. 

In the period just before the Civil War, Owen Pentecost (Robert Stack) comes to town and promptly becomes the new owner of the saloon after smitten "Boston"  Grant (Ruth Roman) fixes a card game in his favor. Then there's big "Jumbo" Means (Raymond Burr), who hates it when anybody calls him fat, especially if it's a female. Ann Alaine (Virginia Mayo) also takes a shine to Owen, although she pretends that she couldn't care less about him. Owen bonds with the young son of a man he killed in a gunfight. And so on. Great Day in the Morning is a sporadically interesting western with under-developed characters and a "storyline" that's all over the lot. It seems to build primarily to the scene where the two women confront each other over Owen. The actors all handle this stuff more than competently, although Stack, playing it stoic, seems a little wooden in most of his scenes. Regis Toomey is the town preacher. 

Verdict: Half-baked western with some interesting players. **1/2.


angelman66 said...

Good cast - the world seems to have forgotten about Mayo, though she was spirited, funny and sexy. I would totally watch this...

William said...

Yes, Mayo was more talented than people gave her credit for. Once had a very interesting phone conversation with her. James Cagney thought she was more than good enough to be his co-star in one of his films, and was was also good support for Bob Hope in "Princess and the Pirate," one of his better vehicles. I liked her, too.