16 March 2011 | alonzoiii-1
Dull, Cheap Short
Walter Cattlett wants to be a boxer, even though he looks to be 45, and is well on his way to an Oliver Hardy physique. His clever wife bribes the training gym (with $5,000) to convince him it's a bad idea. Will a series of daffy, but unfunny, supporting players doing daffy, but unfuinny things convince our hero that boxing is full of stupid, strange people, or has Catlett taken too many UPPER CUTLETS to the head to figure that out?
Brother, this is as misconceived a cinematic venture as one can find, and only remains tolerable because Catlett is good, though he is doubly miscast as (i) someone who might think he was a boxer and (ii) a passive character, feeding straight lines to a crew of madcap boxing types. One guesses, since this was an RKO short, that this was originally conceived for Edgar Kennedy, who would be believable as someone who thinks he could box, and who is also well-known for his "slow burn". The daffy routines are just stupid and the fact the audience knows all of the lunacy is a put up job undercuts any leftover humor.
Finally, and a bit surprisingly, this is really a cheap film -- filmed in a bunch of empty rooms. It may be the first boxing related movie that doesn't feature a boxing ring.
I'd miss this one. It's not fun to see a good actor put to such pedestrian use.