Good Sam is a comedy whose central character, played by Gary Cooper, often slows the film's pace because of a languidness and too obviously premeditated performance in a pic that in itself is unusually long.
Good Sam is a comedy whose central character, played by Gary Cooper, often slows the film’s pace because of a languidness and too obviously premeditated performance in a pic that in itself is unusually long.Good Sam starts off promisingly with a number of gagged-up situations that click, however contrived, but with the pic’s continuance there is the omniscient thought that here is a story that has bags under its gags. Sam co-signs bank loans for friends who never pay up; he lends his car to neighbors without knowing actually how he’s going to get to work or the children to school. Sam loves everybody. In short, everyone sponges on him. And Lu, his wife, constantly harasses Sam to get some sense, especially when he loses the down payment on a house she always had set her chapeau for. Ann Sheridan, as something that might have stepped out of a Christian Dior salon instead of being an ever-lovin’ wife and mother, is not always credible in a part that’s unusual for her. Domestication is hardly Sheridan’s cinematic dish, no matter how authentic-looking are her scrambled eggs. Cooper gives one of his standard performances – there is the wan smile, the gawky naivete and a sartorial manner that suggests Sam’s pants need pressing, too.
RKO/Rainbow. Director Leo McCarey; Producer Leo McCarey; Screenplay Ken Englund; Camera George Barnes; Editor James McKay; Music Robert Emmett Dolan; Art Director John B. Goodman
(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1948. Running time: 114 MIN.
Gary Cooper Ann Sheridan Ray Collins Edmund Lowe Joan Lorring Ruth Roman