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The light-hearted comedy/drama Good Sam (1948) stars Gary Cooper as Sam Clayton, a well-meaning do-gooder who can never say no to a person in need. Sam's excessive generosity with others often leads him to put himself and his own family last, much to the frustration of his long-suffering wife Lu (Ann Sheridan). When Sam is taken advantage of one time too many, it looks as if he is headed for financial ruin. Will there be anyone there to return the favor in Sam's time of need?
Director Leo McCarey was coming off of two major successes (the Oscar®-winning Going My Way (1944) in 1945 and Academy Award-nominated The Bells of St. Mary's (1945) in 1946) when he made Good Sam. The film represented a return to a more comedic style that had helped define his earlier career with such hits as Duck Soup (1933) and The Awful Truth (1937).
Good Sam came along for Gary Cooper at a time when his film career was lagging, and there was hope that this film would help reignite his star power. Although Good Sam was a solid effort, it failed to catch fire at the box office. Cooper, however, did manage to sign a new long-term contract with Warner Bros. during the making of Good Sam and would go on to win his second Academy Award as Best Actor just a few years later with High Noon (1952).
Producer: Leo McCarey
Director: Leo McCarey
Screenplay: Ken Englund (screenplay); Leo McCarey, John Klorer (story)
Cinematography: George Barnes
Art Direction: John B. Goodman
Music: Robert Emmett Dolan
Film Editing: James McKay
Cast: Gary Cooper (Samuel R. 'Sam' Clayton), Ann Sheridan (Lucille 'Lu' Clayton), Ray Collins (Rev. Daniels), Edmund Lowe (H.C. Borden), Joan Lorring (Shirley Mae), Clinton Sundberg (Mr. Nelson), Minerva Urecal (Mrs. Nelson), Louise Beavers (Chloe, Lu's Maid), Dick Ross (Claude, Lu's Brother), Lora Lee Michel (Lulu Clayton).
by Andrea Passafiume