Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
HE'S A COCKEYED WONDER
HE'S A COCKEYED WONDER (1950). Director: Peter Godfrey.
Freddie Frisby works as a tomato sorter in a plant owned by Caldwell (Charles Arnt) and supervised by the grumpy Bob Sears (William Demarest). Freddie has to date Sears' daughter Judy (Terry Moore) on the sly, because Sears hates him, and would much prefer Caldwell's son Ralph (Ross Ford) as a son-in-law. Frisby figures he has little chance with Judy after he gets fired, but then learns that his uncle, a magician, has left him his entire estate ... He's a Cockeyed Wonder certainly has possibilities, and the movie is fun whenever Rooney, who's fine, is in charge, but it, unfortunately, goes way off in the wrong direction. While a lot of laughs could have been milked out of Freddie's hapless magic act, instead the picture brings in a gang of robbers, has the two main characters kidnapped and threatened with death [!] -- all of it quite tedious and not especially funny. The performances are good, however, including Douglas Fowley as the nasty head of the gang of thieves, and there are a few genuine laughs along the way. Godfrey also directed Please Murder Me and others and seemed to divide his time between comedies and thrillers. Fowley had a long list of credits and made a strong impression in Desire in the Dust.
Verdict: A little too cockeyed but Rooney fans may enjoy. **.