(Review originally written at 13 December 2007)

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Who would had ever known that Raoul Walsh was also capable of making, fun, sweet, charming movies such as this one.

It's a real irresistible movie, with a solid great and also quite original love-story, supported and uplifted even more by its great cast. It's the sort of story that sort of has it all; romance, drama and comedy. What I like about the movie is that it has all of the generic required elements but yet is non-formulaic. For instance the lead doesn't get the girl he wanted most and the leading lady has her own very free mind and will, especially for those days of course. The movie has several dramatic themes in it, as well as a sort of message in the end but above all the movie is a really fun one to watch. It has some great subtle comedy and I'm sure you'll discover new little subtle comedy elements in the movie each time you'll see it.

James Cagney doesn't seem like the most likely choice for the leading role in a romantic movie. He was often type-casted as tough guys and he of course most certainly also did not had the right looks to play in a movie such as this one. But perhaps of that very same reason his character works out so well in the movie. It makes the story all the more believable and cuter, knowing that the main character isn't the prettiest or cutest boy on the block. On top of that, James Cagney was of course also a great actor, that could time well, which helps him in the more comical moments in the movie. The movie also has an impressive female cast with both Olivia de Havilland and Rita Hayworth. Two of THE leading ladies of the '40's. But also Alan Hale, Jack Carson and George Reeves where no unknowns.

By todays standards the sets and background of the movie are all cheap and of course fake looking but this always has been sort of part of the charm of '40's movies. The musical score by Heinz Roemheld was surprisingly great (also Oscar nominated). I wish it was more present in the movie.

A really recommendable movie.


About Frank Veenstra

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