Good Sam (1948)

Passed   |    |  Comedy, Drama, Romance

Good Sam (1948) Poster

Sam Clayton has a good heart and likes to help out people in need. In fact, he likes to help them out so much that he often finds himself broke and unable to help his own family buy the things they need--like a house.


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20 December 2011 | Doylenf
| What a waste of talent...trite script is no help to Cooper and Sheridan...
"Some people in the world don't deserve your help," opines Ray Collins as a pastor giving Gary Cooper advice.

And indeed, some films in the world don't deserve an audience. This has got to be the nadir of Cooper's career as a lovable comic hero. He's a do-gooder who literally takes the shirt off his back to help others, with little given back in return.

Ann Sheridan is the wife who stands by her man through a whole series of contrived circumstances wherein Cooper uses poor judgment in helping the needy to the point where he and Sheridan can't even buy the house she wants so badly to move into. Thanks to the hapless script, a change of heart overcomes a banker who comes to their aid--in true Frank Capra style--for a tacked on happy ending.

The film can best be described with one word--it's a "misfire." Sheridan at least gives it her all, but Cooper walks through the role as though he doesn't believe a minute of it. Nor, by the final reel, does this viewer. Ray Collins, Joan Lorring and Louise Beaver are underused in supporting roles.

Not worth your time.

Trivia note: It's hard to believe this film was selected to play at Radio City Music Hall for its New York opening on the strength of the fact that Leo McCarey's "Going My Way" and "Bells of St. Mary's" had both played successfully at the Hall. This was viewed as a critical disappointment and it's easy to see why.

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