This charming comedy features William Holden in one of his first major comedic roles, opposite the formidably funny Lucille Ball. Ball plays a seemingly addle-brained secretary who is hired to run the office of Holden, a young sharpster who heads a bookmaking ring. She has no idea of her
employer's illegal doings, and thinks she's working for a real estate office. Others working there include McHugh, a whiz at remembering all the bets who never needs to write anything down, and Gleason, an old-time bookie who doesn't approve of the operation's using such an elaborate front.
Because of the huge housing shortage after WW II, Ball is soon involved with the plights of the homeless people who call the office in search of accommodations. Holden plays along, hoping to keep from being discovered by promoting a low-cost housing scheme, and at the same time planning to use the
ploy to raise enough money to pay off his debts and avoid the ire of a large gambling syndicate. As the money from would-be home-owners floods in, Holden and his cohorts engage in some shady bookkeeping and extract the funds, leaving the innocent Ball to hold the bag for the embezzlement. All this
time, the syndicate that owns Holden's IOU has been run by Carter, who would willingly tear up the marker if only Holden would pay some romantic attention to her. Instead, Holden sells his small bookmaking operation to Carter to get back 50 grand that he's stolen, using that to repay the
investors. Ball, by contrast, pretends to turn bad, breaking into Carter's house and acting tough enough to frighten Carter into relinquishing her claim on Holden. By the end Ball and Holden, having fallen predictably in love, are ready to spend the future together, helping out people who need a
place to live.
Holden was about 31 at the time this film was made, and found himself in fast comedic company, including not only Ball but also veterans McHugh and Gleason, and a choice bunch of second bananas. He more than held his own among these experts, which may have led to his being cast in the great comedy
BORN YESTERDAY a year or so later (after having starred in one of Hollywood's greatest dramas, SUNSET BOULEVARD).
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- Rating: NR
- Review: This charming comedy features William Holden in one of his first major comedic roles, opposite the formidably funny Lucille Ball. Ball plays a seemingly addle-brained secretary who is hired to run the office of Holden, a young sharpster who heads a bookmak… (more)