5 April 2021 | boblipton
People Are Loyal
As a young man, Hugo Haas had been an actor, and an ambitious one. But he looked his booze a little too much, and he hadn't had the memory, so it was down in the profession, touring with a circus. Nw he is an old man living in a grimy basement with his dog, whom he has trained to dance on the streets for money from passersby, when the cops don't run him off. The boyfriend of one of the girls in his building gets him a job entertaining at a child's birthday party, where the dog is a hit, and the boy wants the dog; the grandfather offers him $500, but a man can't sell his friend, can he?
It's the book of Job, or perhaps a Sholem Aleichem story of a man purified by suffering in a dirty, dingy world Like many of Haas' writing-directing assignments, it doesn't hang together very well. Perhaps Haas knew the character too well to think a story arc was really necessary. Perhas that's why the best drawn character is that of the dog, joyously dancing for his friend, snarling at the false friend, inconsolable at his absence.