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

Thursday, December 31, 2009

GREAT DAY IN THE MORNING


GREAT DAY IN THE MORNING (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. Owen bonds with the young son of a man he killed in a gunfight. And so on. Sporadically interesting western with under-developed characters and a "storyline" all over the lot seems to build 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: More like great groan in the evenin'. **1/2.

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