ROOM FOR ONE MORE
(director: Norman Taurog; screenwriters: novel by Anna Perrott Rose/ Jack Rose/Melville Shavelson; cinematographer: Robert Burks; editor: Alan Crosland; music: Max Steiner; cast: Cary Grant (George “Poppy” Rose), Betsy Drake (Anna Rose), Lurene Tuttle (Miss Kenyon), Randy Stuart (Mrs. Foreman), John Ridgely (Harry Foreman), Irving Bacon (The Mayor), Mary Treen (Mrs. Roberts), Iris Mann (Jane), George Winslow (Teenie), Clifford Tatum, Jr. (Jimmy-John), Gay Gordon (Trot), Malcolm Cassell (Tim), Larry Olsen (Ben); Runtime: 98; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Henry Blanke; Warner Bros.; 1952)
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Norman Taurog (“If I Had A Million”/”G.I. Blues”/”Little Nellie Kelly”)directs this sentimental, episodic domestic comedy, that’s ok as long it sticks to the comedy involved in raising foster children with your own kids and doesn’t take a preachy turn to become a homage film to foster care. It’swritten by Jack Rose andMelville Shavelson, who cull from the popular autobiographical book by Anna Perrott Rose some amusing incidents. The stars, Cary Grant and Betsy Drake, were a real-life married couple who met four years ago while working together in “Every Girl Should Be Married” and remained married for ten years. Drake was Cary’s third wife, as the actor married five times.
The married mother of three (George Winslow, Gay Gordon & Malcolm Cassell), Anna Rose (Betsy Drake), is a New Jersey suburban housewife who tours on Sunday with her PTA delegation a local foster children’s home and the pushy director Miss Kenyon (Lurene Tuttle), after the visit, shows up at her doorsteps with abused 13-year-old foster child Jane (Iris Mann). When her amiable hubby “Poppy” (Cary Grant) begins to grumble, the overbearing Miss Kenyon proposes the nasty tempered Jane stay for two weeks.
The Rose family has just taken in a stray dog and their cat gave birth to a litter of kittens, the Rose’s three adolescents need plenty of attention and, Poppy’s income is fixed because he’s a city engineer, making the family not in a good financial position to take in additional children. But the family can’t resist nurturing unwanted children and become foster parents.
The kindness of the family does wonders for the angry Jane, who calms down when welcomed into the family. Next they take in a young handicapped boy, Jimmy-John (Clifford Tatum, Jr.), and despite his tantrums against their own children he gets a second chance to stay with the family. When Jimmy-John joins the Boys Scouts, he learns skills that make him more secure and less angry.
Everything works out fine for the family, except the film turns mawkish even if one can only praise the Rose family for their generosity and willingness to do good.
REVIEWED ON 7/31/2012 GRADE: C+