“It’s not compulsory, only you’ve got to join — see?”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Response to Peary’s Review:
… and then “becomes the unwitting pawn of both the corrupt management and the workers’ union” — remains a “sharp, cynical comedy” that “chastises workers, but is clearly sympathetic toward them” given “they’re not bad sorts, and much preferable to their sneaky, crooked bosses who are willing to sell out their country for a profit.”
He adds that he doubts “if an American union-made film will ever deal so bravely with similar labor-management problems”. While this film mercilessly skewers labor-related problems of the day in a way that likely resonated deeply with many viewers, I’ll admit to feeling a bit detached from it: the basic theme of corruption on both sides of the aisle — not just with smarmy businessmen (of course), but with labor unions determined to ensure that “no worker is fired, be he incompetent, lazy, or doing work that a machine could handle in a tenth of the time”:
— is loud and strong, but the protagonist is too much of a twit to relate to in any way. Sellers is a top reason to watch the film:
His devotion to the cause of Labor comes through loud and strong, and his character seems like a flesh-and-blood individual capable of authentic growth and emotion.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments: