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Free and Easy

Free and Easy(1941)

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teaser Free and Easy (1941)

It took Robert Cummings a few years in Hollywood, plus a change in studios, to find his place as cinema's charming, vaguely continental everyman. After being squandered as background filler at Paramount in pictures like So Red The Rose (1935), he jumped ship to Universal. It took a while for him to work his way up to Hitchcock's Saboteur (1942), but in the meantime there were opportunities like this light bedroom farce, where a father and son team of gigolos (Nigel Bruce and Cummings, respectively) squeak by through wooing wealthy women, while still searching to bag that elusive Miss Moneybags who will marry either of them and end their money woes forever. Is the ideal bride the unremarkable but loaded Lady Joan Culver? (Judith Anderson) Or the equally penurious Martha Gray (Ruth Hussey)? Cars crash, engagements are made and broken, and fortunes are lost at gambling tables, but Cummings' unflappable charm is on ample display.

By Violet LeVoit

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