HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Await Further Instructions
Ewoks: The Battle for Endor
In Order of Disappearance
Charlotte's Web
Meg, The
Christmas Blood
Equalizer 2, The
1985
Mowgli
Ski School
Ant-Man and the Wasp
Age of Shadows, The
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
Othello
First Reformed
Red White and Zero
Death Wish
Cry Wilderness
Heiresses, The
Millhouse: A White Comedy
Skyscraper
Born of Fire
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
Lucia
Yanks
Sweet November
Ballad of Buster Scruggs, The
Real Men
Shoplifters
Redeemer
   
 
Newest Articles
Phone Freak: When a Stranger Calls on Blu-ray
A Name to Conjure With: David Nixon's Magic Box on DVD
Which 1950s Sci-Fi was Scariest? Invaders from Mars vs The Blob
The Empire Strikes Back: Khartoum vs Carry On Up the Khyber
Stan and Ollie's Final Folly: Atoll K on Blu-ray
The Big Grapple: Escape from New York and Its Influence
The Conquest of Everett: The Kenny Everett Video Show on DVD
Bout for the Count: Hammer's Dracula in the 1970s
Nopes from a Small Island: Mistreatment of American Stars in British Films
You Know, For Kids: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box
If He Were a Carpenter and It Was the 80s: The Fog, Prince of Darkness and They Live
Tee-Hee, It's 80s Sci-Fi Horror: Night of the Comet, The Stuff and Night of the Creeps
Chance of a Ghost: The Uninvited and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
3 Simian Slashers: Phenomena, Link and Monkey Shines
When is a Jackie Chan Movie Not a Jackie Chan Movie? Armour of God and City Hunter
   
 
  Has Anybody Seen My Gal Show Us The MoneyBuy this film here.
Year: 1952
Director: Douglas Sirk
Stars: Piper Laurie, Rock Hudson, Charles Coburn, Gigi Perreau, Lynn Bari, William Reynolds, Larry Gates, Skip Homeier, Paul Harvey, Paul McVey, Gloria Holden, Frank Ferguson, Forrest Lewis, James Dean
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Businessman Samuel Fulton (Charles Coburn) is an elderly millionaire who has nobody to leave his fortune to when he dies, which may be soon according to his doctor if he doesn’t start eating, drinking, exercising correctly and limit himself to one cigar a day. That isn’t the devil may care attitude that made him so comfortable financially, so in one last gesture he decides to track down the family of the woman he loved many years ago, but who turned down his offer of marriage. He feels if he had wed her, this family would have been his, so what better excuse to leave them all that money in his will? But he has to work out if he is doing the right thing first, so hatches an elaborate plan…

The nineteen-fifties saw director Douglas Sirk undertake an intense workload, so much so that the pressure took a toll on his health and nearly killed him, therefore he never made another feature after the end of the decade. Although dismissed as pure soap by most at the time, when the French critics took to his depiction of American life, and not always flattering ones either, it began a gradual move towards making Sirk a very big influence among a host of directors who came after, and his cult by now is well established, especially among those who love subtext and hidden themes in their movies. But what are we to make of a little piece of fluff like Has Anybody Seen My Gal, a nostalglic comedy in the vein of Meet Me in St Louis?

It wasn’t the only one he made, either, as he was contracted to helm three of these by Universal, and they are rather neglected by Sirk fans, but if the other two have slipped into obscurity, this effort is better regarded thanks to a sparkling cast, an air of light confection, and a hint of an undercurrent of anxiety about American society. And also, it should be noted, because it featured James Dean, some three years before he would star with Rock Hudson in Giant; he only appears for a few seconds, but it’s a lot of fun to see him playing laidback and humorous, and has ensured the curious have checked this film out if only for what amounts to a bit part. Hudson was seeing his career take off too, but he wasn’t really the main attraction here.

That task went to Coburn, here essaying a roguish role by all accounts very much like his own personality, as he more or less played every time he appeared; as a character actor in the Golden Age of Hollywood, he may not have been called on to stretch his talents too far, but audiences didn’t want to see his Lear, they wanted him as the old codger with the monocle who would make them laugh and perhaps give them pause for thought as well should he turn more serious. He was undoubtedly the star of the show as Samuel moves in with the family he wishes to bequeath his earnings to (under the not at all suspicious name of John Smith), bluffing that they wanted a lodger so he will fit the bill, paying his way thanks to a career as an artist, no matter that anyone could see he’s never lifted a paintbrush in his life.

That said, Coburn didn’t get it all his own way, as he had a rival who attempted to upstage him in the form of the little girl Samuel forges a friendship with. She was the Blaisdell family’s youngest daughter Roberta, played by Gigi Perreau, the French-American child star here doing her best Margaret O'Brien impersonation, a bright presence in a film that could easily have turned grimmer when her mother (Lynn Bari) is changed for the worse by the hundred thousand dollars Samuel anonymously offers them. There was a moral here that wishing for wealth was all very well, but it might be more than you can handle, fairly subversive in the Sirk manner yet remaining shiny enough in its conservative values of home and hearth to slot into any number of Hollywood family movies. Piper Laurie played the eldest daughter whose mother disapproves all the more of boyfriend Hudson (rather testy) when he is poor and they are nouveau riche, and even got to sing a little as this toyed with being a musical, and it all ended with a heartwarming affirmation of the values at what better time than Christmas. Slight, maybe, but it had its charms.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 845 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Stately Wayne Manor
George White
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
Rashed Ali
   

 

Last Updated: