The Remarkable Andrew

  • 1942
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Comedy, Fantasy

After the failure of THE DEVIL AND DANIEL WEBSTER (AKA: ALL THAT MONEY CAN BUY), it's interesting that Paramount thought they could make a light-hearted fantasy work during the first dark days of WW II. It didn't. Trumbo, who always had a reputation for doing offbeat and/or powerful scripts, submitted the idea to producer Arthur Hornblow, Jr., who suggested...read more

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After the failure of THE DEVIL AND DANIEL WEBSTER (AKA: ALL THAT MONEY CAN BUY), it's interesting that Paramount thought they could make a light-hearted fantasy work during the first dark days of WW II. It didn't. Trumbo, who always had a reputation for doing offbeat and/or powerful

scripts, submitted the idea to producer Arthur Hornblow, Jr., who suggested that it might make a good book. Since novels adapted for films usually command a good price, Trumbo was able to be paid twice for his work--first for the book's rights and second for the screenplay. Holden is a virtuous

civil servant whose avocation is acting as secretary to the local Andrew Jackson society and who lives in the memory of "Old Hickory" having also been named for him. When bookkeeper Holden is framed for misappropriating city funds, he seems to have no way to prove himself innocent until the ghosts

of Jackson (Donlevy), Washington (Love), Jefferson (Emery), Franklin (Watts), and Supreme Court Justice Marshall (Hurst) arrive to help him clear his name. Even Jesse James (Cameron) comes to life, so to speak, to aid Holden and bring the culprits to light. Of course, no one sees the spirits but

Holden, and he stands aside and watches and listens as the group argues politics and makes comments on how the US has changed. Watts, the discoverer of electricity, is thrilled with how the power has been harnessed; Donlevy thinks that the radio is a shocking discovery; etc. Cameron arranges a

jail break for Holden as the others forage through the records to learn who is really responsible for the deed. Once Holden is cleared and about to marry fiancee Drew, he expects the ghosts to depart. However, Donlevy is having such a good time that he wants to stay and live with Drew and Holden,

but he is finally talked out of it. Under the guise of fantasy, Trumbo was able to get in some satiric digs at what was bothering him, although it got too cute after a while, and the historical jokes required that the viewer have a knowledge of who these spirits were and what they did. It was the

kind of plot that might serve well today for a 30-minute situation comedy, though it was stretched to 80 minutes for the film, and audiences found it wanting.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: After the failure of THE DEVIL AND DANIEL WEBSTER (AKA: ALL THAT MONEY CAN BUY), it's interesting that Paramount thought they could make a light-hearted fantasy work during the first dark days of WW II. It didn't. Trumbo, who always had a reputation for do… (more)

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