16 July 2008 | antpaste
This is a tidy little diversion.
It is all too obvious after the first five minutes who the master criminal, "The Umbrella Man" is. Nevertheless, it is a charming, lighthearted mystery with some very good performances.
George Murphy (long before he became a U.S. senator from California,) plays the lead part, Michael Denis, with a great deal of charm and a large dose of tongue-in-cheek. Truth be told, our late U.S. senator was quite a handsome man.
A small side note: back in 1964 I worked at General Service Studios in Hollywood as a messenger. Among other shows that were filmed there was "The Beverly Hillbillies" starring Buddy Ebsen. Ebsen and Murphy were good friends. After Murphy won his U.S. senate seat, he visited Ebsen in his dressing room. There was some talk that Ebsen (who to me, at my lofty age of 18, seemed to be an insufferable snob) might run for office himself.
I had bicycled up to Ebsen's dressing room to deliver some mail. I misjudged the distance between the curb and the dressing room. I hit the curb straight on, knocking all the mail out of my basket. Just as I was maneuvering that very graceful slam, Sen. Murphy came walking out of the dressing room. I was a bit surprised to see that he was about my height. I was, and still am, at 5'9", far from a giant* "What seems to be the trouble, son?" asked the affable Murphy. "I dropped my mail, senator," I managed to mumble and stumble out. "Here, let me help you," said Murphy, whereby this dignified, handsome, and immaculately dressed United States senator got down on his hands and knees, and helped me shuffle the mail back into my basket.
I have been a life-long Democrat, but if I had been old enough to vote for Republican George Murphy, I certainly would have.
What a guy!
*other "cutesie" names (which I learned to despise) were, "squirt," "pipsqueak," "shorty," (which the school bully always called me) and my all time favorite, "shrimp boats."
By way of explanation of that last one, there was a very popular song being sung at that time called "Shrimp Boats are A-comin'"