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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Reviews

Though James Thurber offered to give producer Sam Goldwyn $10,000 not to film his classic short story, the rights to which Goldwyn had purchased, THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY is still an outstanding production and possibly Kaye's best film. Thurber's tale about a middle-aged man who escapes reality by imagining himself in all sorts of heroic situations doesn't lose much in the film adaptation. Though it slips into slapstick toward the end, THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY is enjoyable and presents more genuinely funny scenes than most comedies. Goldwyn sank more than $3 million into this sumptuous showcase for Kaye, parading his statuesque Goldwyn Girls through some of the star's big musical numbers. Mayo is alluring, Bainter is terrific as the overbearing mom, and Hall stands out as the ghoulish publisher. Without the aid of makeup, Karloff also does a great burlesque of himself as the monster from FRANKENSTEIN. And throughout the film there is that memorable sound of Kaye's imaginary life-saving machine--"pucketa, pucketa, pucketa."