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Monday, December 20, 2010

Susan Slept Here (1954)

On Christmas Eve, a couple of policeman (Horace McMahon, Herb Vigran) bring a 17 year old juvenile delinquent (Debbie Reynolds) to the posh apartment of an Oscar winning screenwriter (Dick Powell), ostensibly to keep her out of jail during Christmas, under the pretext of Powell doing research on juvenile delinquents for a new movie. Directed by Frank Tashlin (THE GIRL CAN'T HELP IT), the film is actually a rather pleasing well written comedy if you can get past the unsavory notion of a 40ish Hollywood bachelor hooking up romantically with an underage teenage girl. Most of the laughs come courtesy of Glenda Farrell as Powell's wise cracking boozy secretary (what a pleasure to see somebody else beside Thelma "here comes another wisecrack" Ritter get a crack at these parts). Tashlin's visual comedic sense keeps the talky screenplay lively so that its theatrical origins aren't too apparent. With Red Skelton, Anne Francis as Powell's Pasadena wealthy, bitchy fiancee, Alvy Moore as his best pal, Rita Johnson, Les Tremayne, Ellen Corby and Maidie Norman.

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