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Saturday, October 25, 2014

George Washington Slept Here (1942)

A city dweller (Jack Benny) moves to the country against his wishes when his wife (Ann Sheridan) impulsively buys a run down Colonial house with the intention of restoring it to its former glory. It quickly turns into a disaster as the house eats away into their savings and legal troubles may lose them the property. The "house that eats its owners" plot has been a popular subject for films and TV shows. In addition to this film, MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS HIS DREAM HOUSE and THE MONEY PIT are two other notable examples. This one is moderately amusing, mostly because of the gamesmanship of its cast. Jack Benny isn't an actor, he's a comedian with a very definable and recognizable persona which is well used here. But it limited him and his film career never took off the way Bob Hope's did. Benny and Sheridan do have a nice relaxed chemistry though. Throw in some reliable character actors like Charles Coburn, Hattie McDaniel, Franklin Pangborn, Percy Kilbride (from the original stage production), Lee Patrick and John Emery and you have a show! Based on the 1940 play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart and directed by William Keighley. With Joyce Reynolds and Charles Dingle.

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