THAT WAY WITH WOMEN (director: Frederick de Cordova; screenwriters: Leo Townsend, Francis Swann/based on the story “Idle Hands” by Earl Derr Biggers; cinematographer: Ted McCord; editor: Folmar Blangsted; music: Frederick Hollander; cast: Dane Clark (Greg Wilson), Martha Vickers (Marcia Alden), Sydney Greenstreet (James P. Alden), Barbara Brown (Minerva Alden), Alan Hale (Herman Brinker), Craig Stevens (Carter Andrews), Howard Freeman (Dr. Harvey), Dick Erdman (Eddie), Charles Arnt (Harry Miller), Olaf Hytten (Davis, butler); Runtime: 84; MPAA Rating: NR; producer:Charles Hoffman; Warner Bros.; 1947)
“A strained comedy.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A strained comedy based on the story “Idle Hands” by Earl Derr Biggers, the Charlie Chan creator. It’s awkwardly directed by Frederick de Cordova (“Bonzo Goes To College”/”Frankie and Johnny”) from a lean script by Leo Townsend. The updated remake of the 1931Arliss film The Millionaire never seems modern. Self-made millionaire Detroit auto manufacturer, James P. Alden (Sydney Greenstreet), retires and settles down in Pasadena with his wife (Barbara Brown) and attractive daughter Marcia (Martha Vickers). He’s grumpy, pampered, bored and unnecessarily placed on a restricted diet by his charlatan house physician (Howard Freeman). On a whim, Alden buys a rundown gas station and partners with the ‘average joe’ mechanic Greg Wilson (Dane Clark), but since his partner seems to detest the rich he uses the name of his loyal gardener-friend Herman Brinker (Alan Hale). Alden soon regains his joy for life as a grease monkey and watching the gas station prosper. Meanwhile the pouty Marcia hosts a tea party for her wealthy society friends. She meets uninvited guest Greg here and the two get off to a bad start when he rails against the idle rich. After a series of troubling events alter things, it’s revealed that Marcia’s boyfriend Carter (Craig Stevens) is a creepy confidence man working a racket on her family with a crime organization. By this time she realizes she loves dad’s partner and dad gives them his blessing to marry. Besides the story being creaky and the three stars (Clark, Vickers and Greenstreet) being miscast, the film never seems right and only gets worse when it tries to make everything seem right.
REVIEWED ON 12/28/2016 GRADE: C
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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