- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Relax and Enjoy It
Come on, TCM reviewers, we old movie fans are capable of enjoying movies on many levels - unlike our friends who watch them with us to be polite: "Look at the funny hats!"George Hamilton really isn't the stinker he takes the rap for being. He swans around now as if he had a big Golden Age career (and more power to him - who knows the difference except us?). Bert Convy (yawn) as the beautiful Cary Grant? Hamilton would have been a better choice. George Segal is in there pitching hard for the career he eventually had. Ruth Ford, Sam Levene - what's to dislike? And seeing the Algonquin Round Table depicted so accurately visually is a tiny thrill.Ironically, the crystal-clear black-and-white photography gives the viewer the feeling that he is stepping back in time in a way that a blurry movie from the 1930s, or a colorful modern movie cannot. And come on - Jason Robards, Eli Wallach? How bad can it be? Have you ever hated Jack Klugman in anything besides "Quincy"?Relax and enjoy this movie. I love it.
- don letta
Considering the fact that Hart Kaufman comedies pretty much defined the thirties, with withering wit, improbable sexuality, and suggestive vulgarity juxtaposed with highbrow elitism, no one in their audience left the theater not entertained. Not so this supposed biography of the younger counterpart. Left out is all the wit, balance, sexuality... and in their place is badly designed scenes, poorly written dialog, and flat acting. Cap it off with a score from a different film, I can't figure how this wasn't shelved and immediately forgotten.A lead female actress might have helped give it some dimension... not even the suggestion of a romantic gay affair materialized. As it stands, it's two hours of talk by unbelievable characters in boring settings. Not even the fact that the female costuming was spot on, when in other films of the time, that was the downside, could bring even one word of consolation.
So Bad It's Not Even Mockable
- Richard Gleitsmann
I'm sure this is someone's favorite picture, but in reality it's an awful piece of work that doesn't even rise to the level of trash. Terribly acted, directed and written with music that belongs in Flintstone cartoon. It seemed to me like one of those biographical Neil Simon plays that contain every cliche in the book.
I had never seen this horrdenous film until this morning. I have read both the Moss Hart biographies and the excerpts from his year long diary and found him to be pretty fascinating. His widow did not participate in Steven Bach's excellent Dazzler bio probably because the fact that Moss Hart had an active if somewhat tormented gay life until his marriage to Kitty Carlisle. She reportedly asked him if he was gay and he said no and there does not seem to be any evidence of any gay affairs after the marriage. The only interesting thing about the movie Act One is the total lack of any female interest by Mossie Hart and the charcter of "David Starr". They go have coffee after Hart's first directing gig and this charcter is constantly on hand to lend support. The way that the actor looks at George Hamilton suggests a gay relationship. All the scenes between these two just seem like the only romantic ones in the film. And the Gary Grant (played by Bert Convy) character being lured away by women every time they all meet was equally ludicrous. Archie Leach (Grant) was very "close" to gay designer Orry Kelly and that relationlship eventually led to his living with Randolph Scott in the early 30s. Act One was truly one of the worst movies ever made. Dore Schary had no pacing or anything. And the final scene where Hart trashes his parents' poor but presentable apartment was truly offensive. It was inlsulting to his poor parents who did all they could to support him and for any family in 1929 trying to survive the depression. Geo Hamilton looks very much like the young Mossie and he trys but has no support from Dore Schary as a writer or director. The new Broadway version of Act One has been getting excellent reviews. Maybe they could make a new film version. Act One is even worse than I had expected but I was stunned by what I clearly saw as a gay subtext in Mossie and his friend. I doubt Hetero Dore Schary ( the fictional Mr. Starr as TCM suggests?) intended this!
Badly directed, turgid, transparent waste of everyone's talent. Boo!
- Dana 58
Nicely done Comedy drama starring George Hamilton as a writer who tries to write a screenplay for a hit play.