This 1943 dram-edy is a great B-movie in Grant’s filmography.
Grant plays a shady gambler who has just received his draft notice for WWII but, of course, doesn’t want to go. He assumes the identity of one of his underlings, a Joe Bascopolous who was found 4-F. So far, so good.
But Grant’s even shadier partner wanted the identity, and Grant has no cash to float his gambling boat. Where to get funds?
Fortunately, he meets Dorothy Bryant (Laraine Day), a socialite heiress who is organizing a War Relief charity event. Hmmm. Grant insinuates himself into her life and “suggests” the women’s group turn the charity event into a casino night. Grant’s gambler has a change of heart, both about the war and about stealing the war relief funding, and tries to go straight at the casino night. His pals, however, say no and cause trouble. Joe rescues Dorothy and escapes, killing his former partner and getting wounded. He sends the stolen money back to Dorothy after borrowing a little bit for real war relief supplies.
Grant is in his charming scoundrel mode here, and the film is definitely thinly plotted and predictable, but thanks to Grant and Day it is still worth seeing. Both do a great job, and the film is a fun watch. One of the best moments is Grant teaching Day Cockney rhyming slang (referred to as Australian, here).
The Cary Grant reprise for this week is #29 The Awful Truth, starring Grant and Irene Dunne. This is one of the funniest, silliest, wittiest films about marriage and divorce ever.
The second male lead is Ralph Bellamy, and he is priceless!