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Dreamboat Reviews

This charming spoof of television features Clifton Webb as Thornton Sayre, a highly regarded professor with a personal history no one knows about until a series of old films are shown on TV. It seems that this conservative educator was a screen star back in the silent days, and now the showing of his old features is destroying his credibility as an academic sage. His erstwhile costar, Gloria (Ginger Rogers), hosts the TV screenings and hawks perfume these days, making scads of money in the process. Thornton and his daughter (Anne Francis) seek to stop the showings and sue. However, the court case rekindles his love for acting and he soon finds that colleagues (including Elsa Lanchester, in a fine performance) who once thought him bland and colorless now see him as the passionate swashbuckler he once played. Very few actors could essay righteous indignation as well as Webb, who plays it to the hilt in this role. While television is the film's main target, director Claude Binyon has some fun with silent movie conventions as well.