Maybe the most character-focused of Sturges’ comedies. Rex Harrison’s orchestra conductor is the culmination of all the driven, flawed men who appear in Sturges’ earlier work. Harrison is more imperious than those previous protagonists and his comeuppance perhaps more sour because at film’s end he hasn’t exactly been reformed, emotionally nor spiritually. He’s the same weak man that he’s always been and will forever be, a man who gauges every interaction in respect to his ego. His weakness eventually in…
Seeing a Preston Sturges film invariably makes me want to track down the screenplay and study it. This one especially. It’s a typical film of his in so many ways.
But unlike most Sturges characters, Fonda’s Charles Pike isn’t the slightest bit irritable or anxious. He’s not really cynical or suspicious of anyone, least of all the bands of con artists who surround him.
That adds to the humor, of course, but it makes for a trusting naive type that…
Uniquely moving within Scorsese’s body of work. It’s practically Fordian in its meditation on history and masculine power dynamics in America.
The references to Scorsese’s previous movies add layers and resonance to De Niro’s characterization, surely the greatest director-actor collaboration in American film.
The last half hour seals the deal playing like a Catholic Ozu episode.