(Review originally written at 17 July 2010)

This is a bit of a clumsy and flawed movie but it's all good enough and fun to watch.

At times this movie is just great, while at others it just isn't. I think this is due to the fact that this movie never manages to find its right balance. At times the movie is being adventurous, at other comical or action-like, or romantic. But its never really fully one thing. The movie changes style a lot, even with its own comedy. At times it's a screwball, while at others its being more of a modern type of comedy. Perhaps this is due to the fact that this movie got made in 1951, when the screwball type of comedies weren't really around anymore and movies tried to find a new, more modern, type of comedy, for the new modern audience. When watching this movie you really have the feeling it could had been a great one, if it had made a choice at what it truly wanted to be. If it had been a screwball comedy the movie would probably had ended up being an hilarious one, if it had been more an adventurous movie, lets say Indiana Jones style, this movie would had been truly fun. Now it's just a bit of everything, without ever forming one great, successful, big whole. It's the reason why the movie still feels a bit clumsy and definitely flawed.

But nevertheless, there of course is still plenty of fun in this movie. It's a good movie to watch to be entertained by, just don't expect to be blown away by any cleverness or originality, or even greatness for all that matter.

It has the right concept and story for this type of movie. Basically movies like this are still being around today, in which two people, who don't even like each other at first, due to circumstances end up together and start to grow toward each other. A classic movie set up, which makes it perhaps also strange that this movie hasn't got remade yet. I'm not counting the 1977 version with the same title, since its being more of a sequel and was supposed to be a pilot for a TV-series that got picked up by any studios.

Because the movie got shot in the early '50's but in full color, the movie has a sort of cheap look over it, even though this at the time was a very expensive movie to shoot. It's just one of those movies that would probably had been better off being shot in black & white. Besides, Humphrey Bogart never looked at his best in color. It was both for him and Katharine Hepburn the first time they appeared in a Technicolor film. It will also be remembered as the movie that earned Humphrey Bogart his first and only Oscar. Totally ridicules of course, since he had played so many, much better roles throughout his career. But at least he still won an Oscar during his career. Not every great actor out of cinematic history can say that very same.

But before I'm sounding too negative I should say that you probably won't regret watching this movie. It's a fun classic, that however could had been much, much better.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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