3 June 2005 | HallmarkMovieBuff
Good for its genre and worth the time
"Aggie Appleby" sounds like the name of a character that should be in a series, like "Torchy Blane" or "Maisie Ravier." But, alas, this is it. It makes one wonder how playwright Joseph Kesselring came up with such a name for this character in the first place, and if it was a tribute to somebody he knew.
This film occasionally betrays its stage play origins, but that's not bad. If you're a fan of this genre and time period, you've seen this story many times. Yet, there are just enough variations and plot twists to keep this interesting, which is a credit to the script. It's always interesting to see how a script writer gets out of seemingly dead end plot threads.
There are many well-known actors in this movie; but I watched it in part because I was unfamiliar with the female lead, Wynne Gibson, who does credit to her part. And there's a close-up of her with co-star Farrell which brings out the beauty in her hair and helps define the term, "silver screen."
I'm always surprised when I watch Charles Farrell in one of his early films. He was so different -- in appearance, in voice, and in mannerisms -- than the mature actor I watched in "My Little Margie" on TV. Here, he plays the romantic lead, the naive youth educated by Gibson's woman of experience.
And Jane Darwell...how many times did she play The Landlady (or The Ma, or Mrs. So-and-So)? Too many to count! She had the part, however small, down pat.
Finally, nobody can twitch her nose (indeed, half her face) as Zasu Pitts does here. She gives Elizabeth Montgomery (and now Nicole Kidman) a run for the money. (Look for it in her scene with Farrell on the stairs, or you may miss it.)
My only complaint with this movie is one I have with many from its time (and even with some from today), i.e., jerky editing. There are a number of scene transitions where the break between takes is all too obvious -- characters out of position and out of look.
I gave this movie a middling score. Had I rated it when it was made, I might have assigned it a point higher, but I'm too spoiled, perhaps, by advances in movie-making that have developed since. Still, in my opinion, this movie is well worth the seventy-some minutes it takes to watch.