Saturday, July 14, 2007

Mr. Lucky (1943)

My Tivo's Cary Grant wishlist again. He is unbelievably sexy as a smooth-talking gangster who woos an heiress as part of a swindle. He teaches her cockney rhyming slang. She teaches him to tie a windsor knot.

He has an awesome cast of sailor and gangster sidekicks. She has an awesome wardrobe and a butler. They have great chemistry.

I'm going to call this "the other Casablanca" because there are so many similar elements: a reluctant hero, a gambling operation, a girl who's both innocent and savvy. Missing, of course, are the Nazis - this IS New York City. But I think you can see that, coming out a year later, it reflected a lot of the same themes.

I'm surmising (from what I remember of American history) that Americans still weren't entirely sure they wanted to BE in this war. By incorporating this moral struggle between self-preservation and saving the world from the (by now) clearly deranged and determined Nazis into the two main characters, the film let the general public work out for themselves where they stood. Most of all, it seems it was harder and harder for folks who are just out for themselves to justify their isolationist rationale. Frankly, they just look like cowards.

Anyway, four stars.
Plan to watch it again.

1 comment:

Jessica said...

I like watching Cary Grant learn to knit...