Contact me at because I'm always up for a natter about anything. Well, mostly.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Classic Film Review: Mr Lucky (1943)

Mr Lucky stars Cary Grant as Joe Adams, a gambler who has appropriated the name of a dead gangster in order to escape the army. He plans to con a war charity by affixing a gambling den to their function and siphoning off the profits. Volunteer and society girl, Dorothy Bryant (Laraine Day), suspects he's trying to con them but they gradually fall for each other. What they don't know is that Joe's former partner Zepp (Paul Stewart) is plotting against them. If Joe does have a change of heart, it won't be simple.

One of my issues with this film stems from the confusion about what it's meant to be. IMDB lists it as a comedy/romance while the television guide had it down as a drama. For me, it was all those things - a comedy in the first half with drama in the second and a romance string stretching through the piece. Cary Grant plays the charmer extremely well but once Joe begins to fall in love with Dorothy the humour necessarily disappears. There is one scene in a Greek church where he learns about the fate of his appropriated name's family at the hands of the Germans that signals a complete shift in tone and sets up the final half an hour.

Grant was good, though struggling with a script that kept information back from the audience in a rather sluggish manner. Laraine Day was excellent as the feisty society girl, less so as the romantic sap who falls for Joe. The supporting cast, with the exception of Gladys Cooper as Dorothy's boss, are mediocre with no depth. There are a few good comic moments, with Joe conning people on behalf of the charity and learning how to knit, but once the serious tone sets in, it becomes more run-of-the-mill.

I did enjoy it, for all the difficulties. It was an odd role to find Grant in and, on occasion, the romance aspect seemed completely implausible. That said, I wanted to see how it all ended, so it can't have been that disastrous a film.

1 comment:

Yvette said...

I probably liked this movie more than you did - featured it on my blog a while back as well. Nevertheless I'm so glad I'm not the only one who remembers it. :)

I loved the television show based on this film that ran for one season once upon a time too.