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During the 1940s and '50s, Dennis Morgan and Jack Carson were Warner Bros.' answer to Paramount's Bing Crosby and Bob Hope a crooner and comic who traded wisecracks while sharing unlikely adventures and an easygoing rapport. In addition to musicals costarring such talents as Doris Day and Ann Sheridan, Morgan and Carson had their own starring vehicles in Two Guys From Milwaukee and Two Guys From Texas (1948).
In the first film, Morgan - in an unlikely bit of casting for the Wisconsin native with a Midwestern twang - plays a Balkan prince named Henry who dreams of seeing the "real" America and meeting Lauren Bacall. Still riding a wave of popularity from her sultry film debut opposite future husband Humphrey Bogart in To Have and Have Not (1944), Bacall was then one of the country's leading sex symbols. Carson plays a cabbie that coaches the prince on American manners and morals and inadvertently leads to Henry's country voting to become a democracy.
Finding himself out of a job in the film's final scene, Henry books a flight to Milwaukee with plans of becoming a beer salesman. And who should be seated next to him but the dream girl herself - Bacall! So what happens to the guy's wish fulfillment when Bogie, the ultimate tough guy, also shows up? Bogart and Bacall made their guest appearance (in what would now be called "cameos") as a lark - although the publicity didn't hurt their next co-starring vehicle, The Big Sleep (1946), which opened a month after Two Guys From Milwaukee. Although filmed immediately after To Have and Have Not, The Big Sleep had been delayed for a year and a half, making Two Guys From Milwaukee the Bogarts' second in a total of five joint screen appearances.
Producer: Alex Gottlieb
Director: David Butler
Screenplay: I.A.L. Diamond, Charles Hoffman
Art Direction: Leo K. Kuter
Costume Design: Leah Rhodes
Cinematography: Arthur Edeson
Editing: Irene Morra
Original Music: Frederick Hollander
Principal Cast: Dennis Morgan (Prince Henry), Jack Carson (Buzz Williams), Joan Leslie (Connie Reed), Janis Paige (Polly), S.Z. Sakall (Count Oswald), Patti Brady (Peggy), Rosemary DeCamp (Nan), Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall (themselves; unbilled).
BW-91m. Closed captioning.
by Roger Fristoe