“A huckster is a peddler — you know, a hawker.”
A reluctant but skilled radio ad man (Clark Gable) considers getting himself hired by Mr. Kimberly (Adolphe Menjou) of Kimberly Advertising Agency, who lives in fear of upsetting his biggest and pickiest client, Mr. Evans (Sydney Greenstreet); meanwhile, Gable kindles a romance with a beautiful nightclub singer (Ava Gardner) while also falling for a lovely but prim war widow (Deborah Kerr) who is at the center of one of their company’s campaigns.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Adolphe Menjou Films
- Ava Gardner Films
- Clark Gable Films
- Deborah Kerr Films
- Keenan Wynn Films
- Love Triangle
- Sydney Greenstreet Films
- Widows and Widowers
Deborah Kerr made her American film debut in this adaptation of a novel by Frederick Wakeman, Sr. skewering the radio advertising industry. Unfortunately, there’s not much of note in the screenplay, which is primarily focused on Gable’s WWII-veteran not wanting to simply sell his soul to his job (presumably after living through the horrors of the war). Greenstreet is painted in broad strokes as a bullying Big Man with awful ideas:
… and Gable’s love triangle between Gardner and Kerr doesn’t hold much weight:
You can skip this one unless you’re a fan of the big-name stars.
Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments:
- Fine cinematography
No; you can skip this one unless you’re a diehard Gable, Gardner, or Kerr fan. Listed as a Personal Recommendation in the back of Peary’s book.