6.5/10
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Two Smart People (1946)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 4 June 1946 (USA)
Criminal Ace Connors agrees to return to New York and stand trial for stealing $500,000 worth of bonds so he can serve a light five-year sentence and enjoy his loot (safely stowed away in ... See full summary »

Director:

Jules Dassin

Writers:

Ethel Hill (screenplay), Leslie Charteris (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Lucille Ball ... Ricki Woodner
John Hodiak ... Ace Connors
Lloyd Nolan ... Bob Simms
Hugo Haas ... Señor Rodriquez
Lenore Ulric ... Señora Maria Ynez
Elisha Cook Jr. ... Fly Feletti
Lloyd Corrigan ... Dwight Chandwick
Vladimir Sokoloff ... Jacques Dufour
David Cota David Cota ... José
Clarence Muse ... Porter
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Storyline

Criminal Ace Connors agrees to return to New York and stand trial for stealing $500,000 worth of bonds so he can serve a light five-year sentence and enjoy his loot (safely stowed away in the cover of a cook book) when he gets out. Detective Bob Simms is tasked with escorting Connors back to New York. With five days for the cross-country trip, Connors plans for stops in Texas and New Orleans to have a few final days of fun before he goes to prison. Ricki Woodner, a con artist who met Connors at his hotel, is persuaded by Fly Feletti (a bitter colleague of Connors) to get close to Connors and take the bonds. She joins Connors and Simms on the train and Ricki and Ace start falling for each other. Feletti wants the bonds and keeps an eye on Ricki to make sure she doesn't double-cross him. After a romantic detour into Mexico, Ace, Ricki, and Simms head to New Orleans for the Mardi Gras celebration, with Feletti close behind. Written by Jimmy L.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish | French | Latin

Release Date:

4 June 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Time for Two See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was first telecast in Philadelphia Sunday 8 December 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6), followed by New York City Saturday 28 December 1957 on WCBS (Channel 2), by San Francisco 9 March 1958 on KGO (Channel 7), and by Los Angeles 8 April 1958 on KTTV (Channel 11). See more »

Goofs

When Ricki, Ace, and Bob walk into the little shop that rents them their costumes for Mardi Gras, they walk past an hourglass (that happens to be the same hourglass used in "The Wizard of Oz"). Although there was no one else in the room, and the proprietor came downstairs apologizing that he had been upstairs watching the Mardi Gras, the sand in the hourglass is all in the top half. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Forecast (1945) See more »

Soundtracks

Dead Man's Chest (Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum)
(uncredited)
Lyrics by Robert Louis Stevenson
Performed by John Hodiak and Lloyd Nolan
[Ace and Bob sing the song in the costume shop in changing clothes for Mardi Gras]
See more »

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User Reviews

Signpost to noir
21 October 2002 | by michael.e.barrettSee all my reviews

This obscure B-movie was Jules Dassin's last film before embarking on a series of classic noir and crime films--and actually it's the first of his crime films and shows his interest in developing the genre. As another critic reports in a previous post, this film is NOT a comedy (as Maltin's book describes it) about two con artists mixed up "in art forgery." Actually, it's a crime/road movie about stolen bonds, co-written by the creator of "The Saint." True, Lucille Ball co-stars, and she and John Hodiak meet cute in a TROUBLE IN PARADISE manner, blowing each other's cons with a mutual pigeon. But from the first shot, Dassin reveals his interest in crime

Like Dassin's forgettable comedy A LETTER FOR EVIE, this film is shot by the great Karl Freund, in decline from his silent heyday and not yet arrived at his groundbreaking I LOVE LUCY three-camera period. He gives us expressionist shots aplenty, and such privileged moments as a pan shot with window reflection from outside a train, a cactus-by-moonlight scene, and a chiaroscuro moment when Ball is menaced by Elisha Cook Jr lighting a match. The presence of Cook, Lloyd Nolan, and Hugo Haas (on their way to being entrenched noir icons) also counts for something. The road trip plot (on a train) allows stops in Mexico and New Orleans. The last third (set at Mardi Gras) is suspenseful and colorful, with Cook in fool's motley.

In conclusion, if this 1946 film doesn't hold up as well as Dassin's later, truer noirs, we can still see it's an early step in the development of that genre.


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