“You’re nothing but a no-good paisano and a jailbird, like all your friends!”
When Danny (John Garfield) inherits two houses from his deceased grandfather, his lazy but persuasive friend Pilon (Spencer Tracy) convinces him to rent one out to penniless Pilon, who then rents it out to their friend Pablo (Akim Tamiroff). But their loafing, heavy-drinking lifestyle is interrupted when Danny falls for a beautiful factory worker (Hedy Lamarr), and Pilon entices a local dog-owning hobo (Frank Morgan) to move in with them and share secrets about his hoarded money.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Akim Tamiroff Films
- Frank Morgan Films
- Hedy Lamarr Films
- John Garfield Films
- John Qualen Films
- Spencer Tracy Films
- Victor Fleming Films
Victor Fleming directed this quaint but culturally demeaning adaptation of John Steinbeck’s novel, set along the central coast of California. The book’s sad ending was changed (naturally), leaving instead a comedically “heart-warming” tale of boozy moochers trying their best to maintain a lifestyle of wanton bachelorhood, but ultimately finding themselves lured by the call of domesticity and righteous behavior (and religion). It’s easy to see how this might have been an enjoyable diversion for WWII-era audiences wanting to watch something completely non-war-related, but today it simply comes across as dated and insensitive.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Karl Freund’s cinematography
No; you can skip this one.