6 June 2009 | boblipton
The Wrong Man is the Trainer
Mickey Rooney's career was sputtering like Jack Benny's Maxwell when he made this movie. His vehicles were in buddy comedies after he left MGM, but never with the same buddy twice. Here, teamed with Tom Ewell, they play a pair of sad sacks who rob a couple of banks to finance a racing stable. Rooney tries to act with his usual high energy level, but Ewell plays things at his usual slow pace, and the result is annoying to me. In addition, the print looks to be off a very dark 16 mm. copy, rather than the camera negative or a 35 mm. -- Fox junked a lot of its original prints when it seemed the only market for a lot of their films was TV.
Mickey Shaughnessey plays his usual Runyonesque role, but, unfortunately, screenwriter Sydney Boehm did not write a Runyonesque vehicle. Nothing quite works in this movie, alas, but it is good to know these real talents survived this.