Thursday, January 5, 2017

Mr. Lucky (1943)

Director: H.C. Potter

Writers: Milton Holmes, Adrian Scott

Composer: Roy Webb

Starring: Cary Grant, Laraine Day, Charles Bickford, Gladys Cooper, Alan Carney, Henry Stephenson, Paul Stewart, Kay Johnson, Erford Gage, Walter Kingsford, Florence Bates

Tagline: Cary at his grandest in the story he chose himself - plus lovely Laraine in the role that makes her great!

Plot: A gambler has plans to swindle money from a charity program, but starts to have second thoughts when he falls for a rich society girl.

My rating: 8/10

Will I watch it again?  Yes.

For much of the film this is a straight up romantic comedy with the emphasis on the funny.  Grant is one smooth cat and it's easy to see why he was such a big star.  He's got charisma in spades. As he gets deeper into Dorothy (Day) and the shit gets closer to hitting the fan, things get more serious and this picture goes into dark territory.  The priest interpreting the letter (written in Greek) for Joe (Grant) is powerful stuff and you can see a complete transformation in Joe's character in Grant's face as the letter is read.  By the time the letter is finished, you're looking at a different Joe and he's now a man with a mission and there's no time for quips.  It's a remarkable picture to give this kind of dynamic, change tone and work so solidly.  The ending is really nice, too.  There was a part of me that wanted something a little different but I was very pleased at how it was handled.  The picture runs longer than your standard comedy of this period would (at an hour and forty minutes) and there are some bits here and there that could be trimmed that wouldn't hurt the narrative but they would rob you of some fun bits with the actors who all do a fine job.  I highly recommend this one. 

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