Mickey Rooney Is Terrific
This is a terrific ultra low-budget film that hits its marks and offers a few surprises. Mickey Rooney stars as an orphanage kid no one wanted. He's past school age (Rooney's 30ish here) but the priest who runs the joint (Pat O'Brien) can't get him motivated to learn a skill. After a big fight, Rooney runs away ... much to O'Brien's delight. Now he'll have to learn a skill. Faced with harsh reality he steals a pair of roller skates and tries to hawk them and eventually lands a job as a dishwasher in a dive. But those skates. He goes to the local rink for lessons and his world changes. He finally finds a passion and becomes a roller derby star until tragedy hits and he learns a thing or two about fame, humility, and life. Fascinating film with Rooney doing much of his own skating. Beverly Tyler is the girl, Ralph Dumke is the dive owner, Milburn Stone is the rink owner. And Marilyn Monroe shows up and gets a few lines as a fan. She even gets a couple scenes with Rooney. I remember roller derby from 1950s TV. It made no sense to me then or now.
- Oct 30, 2020
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