20 December 2014 | dougdoepke
Great Supporting Cast, But Uneven Results
A maid's tell-all book threatens to undo an upper-class neighborhood, even as one of the sons and the maid are secretly wed.
Looks like big-budget MGM was responding to wartime audiences with this little programmer. It's decent enough, but can't sustain its comedic air for the 70-minute runtime. That's perhaps because director Dassin's instincts are really not comedic. Instead, he developed into one of the top noir directors of the period, e.g. Brute Force (1947), Thieves Highway (1949). Here, the comedic mood bounces around too often to sustain the format. Then too, writer Lennart has some serious class issues to work into the proceedings.
Nonetheless, it's a dynamite supporting cast, with a number of skillful comedic actors, including Main, Nelson, Joslyn, Weidler et al. Now, I like Richard Carlson, particularly when he's battling space aliens or communists, but a comedy actor, he ain't. Here, he's too stiff to complement the mood, unlike Hunt, for example. Overall, I can't help thinking a longer screenplay giving more time to support players like Main and Hamilton would have helped. But then, a longer runtime would have moved the movie out of the wartime double-bill status.
All in all, the movie components don't combine well enough to make a memorable whole, despite some genuinely promising moments.