To Please a Lady (1950)

Passed   |    |  Action, Romance, Sport


To Please a Lady (1950) Poster

A former war hero and midget car racer meets his match in a feisty reporter who blames his reckless tactics for an accidental racing death.


6.2/10
803

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9 May 2008 | hondo551
8
| Forget the defects and go for the stars!
I've gotta be honest. I never cared for racing films till I saw Cornel Wilde's "Devil's Hairpin" at a Saturday matinée a long time ago. It seemed like the start of 'modern' racing to me, where cars looked like cars and not bathtubs on wheels, and guys like Newman and Garner and McQueen were behind the wheel. Stuff made before that seemed too old and dated and creaky. So it was with some trepidation that I stayed up to watch this Gable/Stanwyck vehicle race around my TV screen for the first time. God knows it had to be creaky. They were making it while I was being conceived, and showing it in theaters while I was learning about baby formula! Yeah, there's a similar theme of drivers killing drivers like in "Devil's Hairpin", but there's Stanwyck going from being too hard-nose to sappy in love just a little too fast, Gable knocks her over way too quickly with no reason shown why he's even attracted to her, and the stars of the film look like they should have made this movie ten years earlier. But then, these stars were at the top of their game. When Stanwyck's assistant swoons over Clark Gable, she should. He's still the king! There were still plenty of women in the audience who would. And let's face it, Gable just had to dig Stanwyck because she was the best tough cookie with a soft center to come out of Hollywood ever. Gable slapping her, and some lines of dialogue stand out, especially Stanwyck saying, "You're nobody till somebody loves you," which had to predate Dean Martin's first recording of that by five years! There are lots of scenes of auto racing history for fans who appreciate that sort of thing to enjoy, but there's also the stars themselves to enjoy. Unlike today, there was a time when faces and personalities meant more to a film than the story itself, and it's watching these two stars go through the motions that really make this film worth watching even after all these years have passed.

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