1 June 2010 | jayraskin1
Pleasing and Charming, David Niven Carries it Home
I saw this on an AMC DVD. It was not a very good print. Most scenes looked somewhat muddy. I hope someone releases a better print someday.
There is a lot of talent in bit parts here: Billie Burke, Eve Arden, Hugh Herbert, Zasu Pitts, and Broderick Crawford each contribute a few minutes of pleasantness.
I wasn't all that impressed with Loretta Young. She was fine, but I didn't see anything special that she brought to her role. On the other hand, David Niven was quite impressive. He brought just the right tone of bravado and cool to his part of a dare devil magician.
James Bond writer, Ian Flemming, wanted David Niven to play James Bond. You can see why from this film. He is handsome and suave in the Cary Grant manner, but he's also sly and intense. When he does a handcuffed falling out of a plane stunt, one really feels his fright and nervousness.
Niven did end up playing James Bond in the spoof "Casino Royale" (1967), but by that time he was about ten years too old for the part.
The movie jumps a bit. It looks like they edited out a number of scenes. Still, it is fast paced, clever and surprising. I recommend it, but I hope they come out with a better print.