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

Thursday, August 16, 2018


Walter Abel, Steve Cochran, Danny Kaye and Eve Arden
THE KID FROM BROOKLYN (1946). Director: Norman Z. McLeod.

Burleigh Sullivan (Danny Kaye) is a skinny milkman who comes to the rescue when his sister, Susie (Vera-Ellen), is bothered by a masher, the boxer Speed McFarlane (Steve Cochran of The Chase). When Speed, the heavyweight champion, is knocked out with one punch, the press wrongly believe that Burleigh delivered the blow. Speed's manager, Gabby (Walter Abel), decides to capitalize on the situation by hiring Burleigh as a fighter, and paying his opponents to take a dive so he can ultimately cash in when Burleigh has a real match with Speed. Complications occur when Burleigh's success goes to his head, and Speed and Susie fall for each other. Kaye is wonderful in this light-hearted, silly, modestly entertaining musical, and the pic is bolstered with fine supporting performances, not only from those already mentioned but from an absolutely gorgeous Virginia Mayo as Burleigh's recent girlfriend, Polly Pringle, and the inimitable Eve Arden as Gabby's acerbic gal pal, Ann. Clarence Kolb of My Little Margie is the head of the milk company, Lionel Stander is as repulsive as ever as Speed's associate (and the one who actually knocked him out), and Fay Bainter [The Children's Hour] has an amusing scene with Kaye when he teaches her how to box and duck. Some of the characters, such as Polly and Susie, seem to over-react when Kaye's behavior changes after his "success" in the ring, but he's never as bad as they make him out to be, making it seem more like they've got sour grapes. Kaye and Mayo would make more movies together.

Verdict: The players help put across this. **1/2.   


angelman66 said...

Have not seen this Danny Kaye vehicle but it's also chock full of great character actors--I love Bainter from Jezebel and The Children's Hour and of course the redoubtable Eve Arden. Will look for this one, even though a little Kaye goes a long way for me...

William said...

I know just what you mean! Kaye is talented but his shtick can get tiresome.