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Wealthy Samuel Fulton is getting older and has no family of his own. He decides to leave his estate to the family of his first love, who turned down his marriage proposal years ago because he was poor. But he wants to test the family before leaving his money to them. He takes a room in their home and a job in the father's shop. He anonymously grants them $100,000. Harriet Blaisdell moves the family into a mansion and makes plans to marry her daughter Millicent off to a socialite rather than her soda jerk boyfriend Dan. The money goes to their heads, and they soon find themselves broke, back in their old house, and back to their old lives. Father back in his shop, Millicent engaged to Dan, and everyone seemingly much happier. Hoping they learned their lesson, Fulton takes his leave of the family.Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
Although Piper Laurie and Rock Hudson are the stars of Has Anybody Seen My Gal, this film belongs to Charles Coburn. He does one of those patented foxy grandpa roles that he honed to perfection in such films as The Devil And Miss Jones and The More The Merrier.
Coburn plays one of the richest men in the world, Rockefeller type rich and the film opens in the Rockefeller town of Tarrytown where Coburn is one of their neighbors. He's making out a last will and testament and since he's got no family of any kind, he's decided to leave his money to the Blaidells who are the descendants of the woman he once courted, but who married someone else.
But of course the Blaisdells do bear checking out so Coburn gets out of his sickbed where he's enjoying all attention he's been getting and visits them incognito. The family consists of husband and wife Larry Gates and Lynn Bari and children Piper Laurie, Gigi Perreau, and William Reynolds. Bari is the daughter of his lost love, but she's got a lot of social climbing pretensions, Coburn sees more of his former sweetheart in her granddaughter Piper Laurie. Piper's going out kind of with the soda jerk in her father's pharmacy Rock Hudson. But Skip Homeier is hanging around and he's the son of the wealthiest people in their town and that's a match Lynn Bari would prefer.
Coburn gives them a test run so to speak. First he finagles his way into boarding with them under an assumed name. Then like John Beresford Tipton he bequeaths on them anonymously a check for $100,000.00. Of course it all goes to Bari's head and she drags the rest of the family somewhat reluctantly into a new lifestyle.
Has Anybody Seen My Gal is set in the Roaring Twenties and the music score is of that period, popular tunes played in the background and occasionally done by the cast. Coburn has some incredibly good scenes here with Gigi Perreau, he saves Piper Laurie from being arrested in a speakeasy raid, and does a mean Charleston once he learns. Bari comes off second best in the cast as a woman who learns that even comparative wealth can bring with it all kinds of problems. Her family the Blaisdells learns in a more humorous way, the lesson George Bailey learned that no man is a failure who has friends. We can't all be millionaires.
Four years away from when they shared Oscar nominations for Giant, Rock Hudson and James Dean were in the same film. Dean had some small bit parts in a few films and television work before hitting it big. This is one of those bits and you can plainly recognize him as one of the Roaring Twenties kids at the drugstore soda fountain.
Has Anybody Seen My Gal did good things for stars Rock Hudson and Piper Laurie, but this film belongs to Charles Coburn and the marvelously droll and funny performance he gave.
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