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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Full Of Life (1956)

A writer (Richard Conte) and his wife (Judy Holliday) are expecting their first baby. When a home repair becomes is too expensive for their budget, they ask his father (Salvatore Baccaloni), an old school Italian, for help. But clashes over family values and religious tradition make for turmoil. For the first hour, this is a rather sweet good natured comedy before stumbling in the final half hour. As directed by Richard Quine (STRANGERS WHEN WE MEET), the film manages to avoid falling into sitcom traps and brings often provocative issues to the foreground. Holliday is an expert as this kind of thing and while one doesn't think Richard Conte when the subject of comedy comes up, he holds his own. But the film belongs to Baccaloni, who is somehow able to make the often meddlesome and single minded father quite likable. I stand to be corrected but this is the first time I can recall seeing a pregnant woman look pregnant in a film of this era. That aside, it was amusing (or not) to see the pregnant Holliday drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes. Oh, those 1950s! With Joe De Santis, Esther Minciotti and Eleanor Audley.

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