Take It Big (1944) Poster

(1944)

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5/10
Lots of talent among the corn.
mark.waltz7 May 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Ozzie and Harriet Nelson are not going to be for all taste in today's view of what is talent. But like Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, they were a variation of Lunt and Fontanne, maybe dated, but certainly an interesting curiosity. Harriet is a headliner in a Vaudeville show where Ozzie and Jack Haley do a horse act that has to be seen to be believed. It is truly hysterical in parts, but it is also simply bizarre in the way that they make this phony horse move around. In Haley's case, being allegedly the back end of the horse has lead him to an emotional crisis, and to get back his masculinity, he wants to open up a western-style hotel to show off what he actually can do on stage. But financial issues get in the way, leaving Haley, the Nelsons and their team of entertainers basically stranded. Obviously things are going to come together somehow, and it's a lot of fun to see how it all unwinds.

Much of the song and dance numbers are pretty dated but there are a few good moments. The burlesque jokes are very silly, and for anybody who was lucky enough to see "Sugar Babies" on Broadway years after this will instantly recognize some of the gags generalized which only an old pro like Haley can get away with. Well known comical character actors Fritz Feld, Fuzzy Knight and Johnny Arthur are among the featured cast, and while much of so humor is eye-rolling oh, there is a sense of charm and innocence that patient viewers might pick up if they can manage to retain their attention. For followers of everything that cast members of "The Wizard of Oz" did, it's a must.
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