SHE COULDN’T SAY NO (aka:BEAUTIFUL BUT DANGEROUS)(director: Lloyd Bacon; screenwriters: D.D. Beauchamp/William Bowers/Richard Flournoy/based on the story “Enough for Happiness” by D.D. Beauchamp; cinematographer: Harry J. Wild; editor: George Amy; music: Constantin Bakaleinikoff; cast: Robert Mitchum (Dr. Robert Sellers), Jean Simmons (Corby Lane), Arthur Hunnicutt (Otley Chalmers), Edgar Buchanan (Ed Meeker), Wallace Ford (Joe), Raymond Walburn (Judge Hobart), Jimmy Hunt (Digger), Ralph Dumke (Sheriff), Eleanor Todd (Sally Watson),Hope Landin (Miss McMurtry), Pinky Tomlin (Elmer Wooley); Runtime: 88; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Howard Hughes/Robert Sparks; RKO; 1954)
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
The last film directed by a washed-up Lloyd Bacon (“42nd Street“/”The French Line“/”Knute Rockne All American“) is horse twaddle. RKO’s future billionaire recluse, the evil Howard Hughes (bought English actress Jean Simmons’ contract from England’s J. Arthur Rank and forced her to make three horrible films for him and sexually harassed the new bride of American star Stewart Granger-the forced contract resulted in a law suit against Hughes, which he lost), stumbled in this innocuous fluff comedic effort to bring back the studio’s screwball comedy classics such as Bringing up Baby (1938). It’s based on the story “Enough for Happiness” by D.D. Beauchamp, who writes the weak screenplay with William Bowers and Richard Flournoy.
Young English educated oil heiress Corby Lane (Jean Simmons) returns to America and goes by car to the rural town of Progress, Arkansas, to anonymously repay the good deed the town did for her when she was a youngster (the poor town had all donated money to pay for her life-saving operation when dad was poor and her mom died). Corby meets Dr. Robert Sellers (Robert Mitchum), the son of her Arkansas family doctor, and he acts as her guide around town as she takes a room in Miss McMurtry’s (Hope Landin) boardinghouse, where she meets a bunch of colorful hillbillys (Arthur Hunnicutt, Edgar Buchanan and Wallace Ford). Problem is when the rich Corby anonymously begins spreading surprising gifts of cash on the locals, it not only doesn’t improve their lives, as intended, but makes things worse and they show their resentment to the good-hearted woman when she reveals she’s the donor. It leads to the predictable romance between the attractive Corby and the homespun hunk Dr. Sellers, a romance that is as wooden as a rotting barn.
The film wastes the talents of its talented stars, as a miscast Mitchum plays an easygoing hick doctor; while the unfunny Simmons plays a misguided heiress who means well but comes across as a kook.
REVIEWED ON 2/3/2011 GRADE: C-
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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