The Wiggs family plan to celebrate Thanksgiving in their rundown shack with leftover stew, without Mr. Wiggs who wandered off long ago an has never been heard from. Do-gooder Miss Lucy ...
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The Wiggs family plan to celebrate Thanksgiving in their rundown shack with leftover stew, without Mr. Wiggs who wandered off long ago an has never been heard from. Do-gooder Miss Lucy brings them a real feast. Her boyfriend Bob arranges to take Wiggs' sick boy to a hospital. Their other boy makes some money peddling kindling and takes the family to a show. Mrs. Wiggs is called to the hopsital just in time to see her boy die. Her neighbor Miss Mazy wants to marry Mr. Stubbins who insists on tasting her cooking. Mrs. Wiggs sneaks her dishes past Stubbins who agrees to marriage. Mr. Wiggs appears suddenly, in tatters, with just the amount of money (twenty dollars) needed to save the family from foreclosure. Miss Lucy and Bob get married.Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
It is somewhat odd that in the decades of movie development from the turn of the century to the present so few stage stars were able to achieve stardom on film. Usually excuses are given about aging or the general theory that stage work was more prestigious than film work. So few great performers tried to make the change. George M. Cohan made several silent films and two sound films. Only one of the sound films, the musical THE PHANTOM PRESIDENT, is available to be seen - fortunately it shows a mature Cohan at his best. Sarah Bernhardt did do an early (1910) feature QUEEN ELIZABETH with Lou Telegrin as the Earl of Essex. It is worthwhile to watch, but she was an elderly actress at the time (perfect for that role). Unfortunately it is a silent film. Kathleen Cornell did do a Shakespearian speech in one of those all star Hollywood films of the 1940s, but nothing else. Luckier than most were Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontaine, who did REUNION IN VIENNA in 1932 (and got Oscar nominations that year), but no other films together - but did many television productions for shows like the Hallmark Hall of Fame (such as THE MAGNIFICENT YANKEE and THE GREAT SEBASTIANS) in the 1950s and 1960s.
Who was Pauline Lord? From the 1920s to the 1940s she was one of Broadway's leading ladies. Perhaps she is best remembered for appearing opposite Raymond Massey in ETHAN FROME in 1938. She made a few films, one of which is this one. She plays Mrs. Wiggs, who tries to survive with her children until her husband (Donald Meek) returns from the Klondike with a fortune in gold. The movie (based on a children's book from the 1890s)follows the lady as she struggles on. Ms Lord was actually a very subtle actress, but she had a low speaking voice
which on stage was effective but this film shows it is very tiring. Some critics have seen some of her furtive finger and hand gestures as evidence of great acting ability. Perhaps, but they are too subtle for this film viewer's taste. If the story was more interesting instead of being so simple and boring the movie might be worth watching. So it isn't.
It isn't a W.C.Fields movie either. It was obvious that the film needed some flavoring to keep it alive, so Fields got hired for one week's work as Mr. Stubbins, who is a mail order lover Zazu Pitts has been contacting. Fields tries to do what he can do with his material, but it is dull. Basically Stubbins wants a wife who can cook. Pitts can't cook. So she asks her friend Lord to cook a good meal to impress Mr. Stubbins. He is almost convinced, but he returns to have a second meal and Pitts has to cook it. And it is lousy. Disgusted with a lover who only thinks of his stomach, Pitts throws him out. Hardly the same material for the man who was Harold Bissonet in IT'S A GIFT and Egbert Souse in THE BANK DICK (or even Professor John Quayle in INTERNATIONAL HOUSE).
This was the only film with Charles Middleton as a villain (Lord's landlord) that I wished he would succeed in his villainy. Even he is spoiled in one scene near the end, where he has to be mildly reproved by the soft-spoken Ms Lord, just before Meek returns. This was a dull, boring movie.
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