Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Festive cheer 3

O HENRY’S FULL HOUSE – This 1952 20th Century Fox compendium of 5 O Henry stories has never surfaced anywhere during my years here in England, so when I saw it on Amazon I just had to get it, and its quite nice if nothing very special. Odd for a film about one writer’s work it is introduced by another: the much better known John Steinbeck (whom I had not seen on film before) who links the stories. It has that early ‘50s Fox look and a lot of those young Fox players of the time, but the most interesting sequence is a practically wordless one of hobo Charles Laughton trying to get back into jail for the winter – Marilyn Monroe appears for maybe a minute as the streetwalker he insults, and its just great seeing them together.
Oddly enough the story directed by Howard Hawks works least of all and is rather bizarre - but Fox stalwarts Henry Hathaway, Jean Negulseco, Henrys Koster and King direct the other episodes: cop Dale Robertson having to arrest old school pal Richard Widmark (guying his tough guy image) is a lively diversion; poor newly weds Jeanne Crain and Farley Granger trying to afford Christmas presents is nicely touching; and sisters Anne Baxter and Jean Peters play in an amusing anecdote with Gregory Ratoff.
Its a nice little diversion for this time of year. 


  1. This is a variable collection of O. Henry's stories but overall it's enjoyable.

    I didn't mind the Laughton/Monroe vignette except that it went on a trifle too long. The one that fell flat for me was The Ransom of Red Chief, it was just missing something.

    However I LOVED The Last Leaf segment finding it delicate and lovely with both Jean Peters and Gregory Ratoff giving the film's best performances.

    1. Welcome back, we have not seen you here for a while.

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