Half a Hero
Warner Archive Collection (series)
Audiences always roared with delight when Red Skelton went one-on-one with post-war life.
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- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 11 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Released: July 12, 2012
- Originally Released: 1953
- Label: Warner Archives
- Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.37
Performers, Cast and Crew:
|Starring||Red Skelton, Jean Hagen, Charles Dingle, Willard Waterman & Mary Wickes|
|Performer:||Charles Dingle, Willard Waterman, Mary Wickes, Frank Cady, King Donovan, Dorothy Patrick, Dabbs Greer & Billie Bird|
|Directed by||Don Weis|
|Edited by||Newell P. Kimlin|
|Screenwriting by||Max Shulman|
|Composition by||Paul Sawtell|
|Cinematography by||Paul Vogel|
|Art Direction by||Cedric Gibbons & Arthur Lonergan|
|Produced by||Matthew Rapf|
|Director of Photography:||Paul Vogel|
Description by OLDIES.com:
Red Skelton took on a slice of 20th-century Americana that still resonates today: the suburbs. Red plays Ben Dobson, a magazine writer whose boss approves of Ben because he lives in a cramped Manhattan apartment instead of "the slums of tomorrow": the 'burbs. So, of course, when Ben movies his family to a sprawling housing development, he struggles to keep the fact a secret. Jean Hagen, a year after her iconic portrayal of the itsy-voiced screen siren in Singin' in the Rain, plays Ben's long-suffering wife, and singer Polly Bergen makes a guest appearance with a torrid nightclub-scene rendition of "Love."
Red Skelton does his best with the situation-comedy trappings of HALF A HERO. A sort of poor man's MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS HIS DREAM HOUSE, the story concerns one Ben Dobson (Skelton), whose wife Martha (Jean Hagen) talks him into leaving the big city and moving into a suburban housing development. Unfortunately, Ben doesn't make enough money to support his new life style, but Martha refuses to consider moving back downtown. When Ben's boss tells him to write a magazine article about the disadvantages of suburbia, Ben seizes upon the opportunity, hoping to teach his wife a lesson, and then, suddenly and improbably, our hero has a change of heart. Domestic comedy was not Red Skelton's forte, but he manages to extract a few laughs with the material at hand. Much funnier within the film's context is Kathleen Freeman as a "welcome wagon" lady and Willard Waterman as an unctuous real estate broker.
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