1 May 2012 | jayraskin
Funny 1950's Con Men and a Couple of Cuties
There are lots of problems with this movie. It is way too stagy. While it was made in vista-vision, there is no reason why it could not have been a made for T.V. movie. It looks more like a pilot for television series than a big screen movie. The plot is lifted from an episode of the Abbott and Costello Show called "The Beauty Contest." There as hear, the comedy comes from fixing a beauty contest to please a dangerous gangster. The gangster has a girlfriend entered the contest. This really plays like an extended episode of a television sit com. Still, there are a few treats here. Hal March, the host of "the $64,000 Question" quiz show is quite good as a quick witted conman in the Sargeant Bilko (Phil Silvers) Style. Joe E. Ross (Gunter Toody in the "Car 54 television series" adds a lot of funny vaudevillian stick. Merry Anders and Jean Willes are two pretty blonds who both starred in dozens of top television series in the 1950's and 1960's. They each add a nice touch to the affair. Jean is wonderfully cynical and Merry is wonderfully sweet.
If you're a fan of 1950's and 1960's American television, and find Damon Runyon type goofy criminals amusing, this movie just may give you a few chuckles. Anyone born after 1960 will probably not find much in it to laugh at.