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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Father Is A Bachelor (1950)

When the con man (Charles Winninger) of a traveling medicine show is arrested in a small town, his minstrel singer (William Holden) finds himself adopted by seven orphaned moppets who are keeping the death of their parents a secret from the town. Slowly but surely, the carefree bachelor finds himself attached to the children and acting as their surrogate father. After the initial horror of seeing Holden singing Wait Till The Sun Shines, Nellie in full blackface, the film settles in to a typical folksy and wholesome family comedy and part of its appeal is directly responsible to Holden who is the last actor you'd expect to see in a movie like this but whose natural sincerity as an actor goes a long way in keeping the saccharine in check. There are enough songs sung in the film, mostly by Holden (dubbed, of course) that it's practically a musical! The lovely undervalued Coleen Gray provides the romantic interest while Clinton Sundberg makes for an unctuous lawyer who threatens to upset the apple cart. Two directors, Norman Foster and Abby Berlin, are credited. With Billy Gray, Stuart Erwin, Sig Ruman, Ruby Dandridge and Peggy Converse and Lillian Bronson who threaten to steal the movie as two marriage minded spinster sisters.

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