My hat’s off to you if you can stand Glenn Ford for more than 15 minutes in any movie, most of all this one. He’s always struck me as the William Hurt of his generation. Very dull, very bland, always the same.
In this film he’s a little more overblown and out of control than usual, playing a gangster, laughably known as “Dave the Dude.” The Dude is superstitious by nature, and part of his daily ritual involves buying an apple from his good luck charm Apple Annie (Bette Davis), a street peddler who frequently takes a nip while serving as a kind of union leader for all the peddlers.
I can’t recall now how the script explains it away, but somehow Annie has a beautiful daughter living in Europe who Annie’s apple earnings have managed to put through finishing school. (Yeah. Right.) She of course, has no idea of her mother’s true situation, thinking instead that she’s some grand dame living in luxury. Complications ensue when the daughter (a squeaky Ann-Margret) announces her impending arrival to introduce mom to her fiance and his diplomat father. Yeah. Right. Again.
Bette Davis, Thomas Mitchell, Peter Falk, Edward Everett Horton in a story by Damon Runyon, directed by Frank Capra–you’d expect a lot more from this collection of talent. Ford spins off in every direction, fighting hot and cold with his showgirl girlfriend, a miscast Hope Lang. Falk and Everett Horton are shining points of comedy genius in the midst of a pretty dead weight movie that wears out its welcome long before it’s over. [** out of 5]