6.4/10
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Free for All (1949)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 25 November 1949 (USA)
An inventor comes up with a pill that turns water into gasoline. Complications ensue.

Director:

Charles Barton (as Charles T. Barton)

Writers:

Robert Buckner (original screenplay), Herbert Clyde Lewis (additional dialogue)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Cummings ... Christopher Parker
Ann Blyth ... Alva Abbott
Percy Kilbride ... Henry J. Abbott
Ray Collins ... A.B. Blair
Donald Woods ... Roger Abernathy
Mikhail Rasumny ... Dr. Axel Torgelson
Percy Helton ... Joe Hershey
Harry Antrim Harry Antrim ... Mr. Whiting
Wallis Clark Wallis Clark ... Mr. Van Alstyne
Frank Ferguson ... Hap Ross
Dooley Wilson ... Aristotle
Russell Simpson ... Farmer
Lester Matthews ... Mr. Aberson
Murray Alper ... McGuinness
Bill Walker ... Herbert
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Storyline

Christopher Parker, inventor, comes up with a formula that makes gasoline out of water. He goes to Washington to register his formula with the patent office and meets Mr. Abbott, who works there. Abbott invites him to come home with him, and he meets Abbott's daughter, Ann. She works for a large oil company and she takes Christopher to meet the company president, Blair. The latter has his scientists try to duplicate the formula mixture, but they fail. Christopher, without registering the formula (he has faith in the honesty of a BIG oil company, returns to Ohio, and Ann and Mr. Blair catch up with him via a helicopter. He is about to sign a contract with the oil company, but an escaped criminal, whom Christopher had earlier given a ride, holds them all up. Christopher falls down a well, loses his memory, and all appears lost. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's ZAZZLE! You either got it or you ain't! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 November 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hot Water See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on February 1, 1951 with Ann Blyth reprising her film role. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sort of like a goofy American version of "The Man in the White Suit".
29 May 2017 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

One of my favorite British movies of the 1950s is "The Man in the White Suit" with Alec Guinness. However, two years earlier a similar sort of plot was explored in the American film "Free For All"...though it was made with far less subtlety and finesse.

The film begins with Christopher Parker (Bob Cummings) at the US Patent Office getting information about obtaining a patent for his latest invention...pills that turn water into gasoline! Naturally folks are skeptical but when the oil industry learns about the invention, they spring into action. They claim to be interested in Chris and his invention, but they will do just about anything to stop this invention from seeing the light of day.

The film handles this story with no subtlety at all and often goes for goofy laughs. This doesn't make it a bad film...but it does make it slight and silly whereas "The Man in the White Suit" was insightful and clever. Worth seeing.


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