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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Good Sam (1948)

A good Samaritan (Gary Cooper) overextends his kind acts by loaning money, his car, even his home to others. This frustrates his practical wife (Ann Sheridan) who feels they'll never get ahead as long as he sticks to his belief of doing good for others over his own family. The first hour of this Leo McCarey (THE AWFUL TRUTH) comedy is quite enjoyable. Sheridan's sarcastic spouse proves a perfect foil for the gullible do-gooder husband. The breakfast scene where a garage mechanic (Clinton Sundberg) takes advantage of Cooper's hospitality is priceless. Unfortunately, the second hour goes all mawkish and sentimental on us (think Frank Capra!) and turns Sheridan's character into a harridan. Projecting intelligence was never Cooper's strong suit so his good Samaritan comes across as thick skulled and obstinate when I don't think that's what McCarey intended. It ends up being half a good movie. With Ruth Roman, Joan Lorring, Edmund Lowe, Ray Collins, Minerva Urecal and Louise Beavers.

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