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Saturday, February 6, 2021

Elopement (1951)

A father (Clifton Webb) has big plans for his daughter (Anne Francis) when she graduates from college. But when she suddenly elopes with her college professor (William Lundigan), he and his wife (Margalo Gillmore) and the parents (Charles Bickford, Evelyn Varden) of the groom run off after them to stop the marriage. Directed by Henry Koster (FLOWER DRUM SONG), the film has a rather archaic view of marriage. The film is fine as long as it stays with the outraged parents but turns icky and sentimental when focusing on the young lovers. As always, Webb is wonderfully acidic whether stealing a little boy's sandwich because he's hungry or surreptitiously tossing a passenger's pipe out of the car because the smoke bothers him. No one else in the cast matches him (not that they try). The film's last 20 minutes or so are particularly exasperating as the treacle settles in although Webb's final punchline (an "in" joke) is quite funny. With Reginald Gardiner and Tommy Rettig.

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