Somehow Clark Gable just doesn't quite take hold of the huckster part [from the novel by Frederic Wakeman] in signal manner. Same goes for Deborah Kerr who is a shade prissy for her volatile romantic role. That's as much scripting shortcoming as her personation.

Somehow Clark Gable just doesn’t quite take hold of the huckster part [from the novel by Frederic Wakeman] in signal manner. Same goes for Deborah Kerr who is a shade prissy for her volatile romantic role. That’s as much scripting shortcoming as her personation.

She’s cast as a very proper Sutton Place war hero-general’s widow, with two children who go for Gable, as she goes, to the extent of a quickie plane flight to his Bel-Air layout where he’s cutting a new radio program for Beautee Soap, tycooned by the irascible and tyrannical Evan Llewellyn Evans.

Sydney Greenstreet’s portrayal of the soap despot emerges as the performance of the picture, as does Keenan Wynn as the ham ex-burlesque candy butcher gone radio comic. Ava Gardner is thoroughly believable as the on-the-make songstress; Adolphe Menjou is the harassed head of the radio agency which caters to Evans’ whilom ways because it’s a $10 million account.

Gable looks trim and fit but somehow a shade too mature for the capricious role of the huckster who talks his way into a $35,000 job (and bonus), is a killer with the femmes, and when he has the soap tycoon in his corner throws him over because he sees himself fast getting typed among the ad agency cliches.

The Hucksters

Production

M-G-M. Dir Jack Conway; Producer Arthur Hornblow Jr.; Screenplay Luther Davis; Camera Harold Rosson; Editor Frank Sullivan; Music Lennie Hayton Art Dir Cedric Gibbons, Urie McCleary

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1947. Running time: 110 MIN.

With

Clark Gable Deborah Kerr Sydney Greenstreet Adolphe Menjou Ava Gardner Keenan Wynn
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