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Behave Yourself!
     

Behave Yourself!

Director: George Beck

Cast: Farley Granger, Shelley Winters, William Demarest

 

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One of the oddest comedies of the 1950s, Behave Yourself! stars Farley Granger and Shelley Winters as a pair of none-too-bright newlyweds. Granger and Winters adopt a stray pooch named Archie, who unbeknownst to them has been trained as a go-between for a couple of underworld gangs. To the ever-mounting amazement of our hero and heroine, corpses begin to pile

Overview

One of the oddest comedies of the 1950s, Behave Yourself! stars Farley Granger and Shelley Winters as a pair of none-too-bright newlyweds. Granger and Winters adopt a stray pooch named Archie, who unbeknownst to them has been trained as a go-between for a couple of underworld gangs. To the ever-mounting amazement of our hero and heroine, corpses begin to pile up all around them as one gang endeavors to rub out the other during a million-dollar smuggling operation. While it's quite possible to treat murder as a farcical situation-remember Arsenic and Old Lace?--the killings in this film are sometimes too graphic to induce laughter (there's nothing terribly mirth-provoking about gang flunkey Hans Conried lying dead in a bathtub with a bullet hole between his eyes). Another detriment is the casting of Granger and Winters, both of whom are woefully unsuited to their roles. In fact, such veteran villains as Lon Chaney Jr., Sheldon Leonard, Francis L. Sullivan and Elisha Cook Jr. come off funnier than the stars! The film's best sequence occurs during the closing cast credits, so try to stick around after the "THE END" title. Behave Yourself was the first coproduction between Wald-Krasna Productions and RKO Radio.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Mixing murder and comedy successfully requires a very careful hand, something that is lacking in Behave Yourself. Clearly wishing to be a mixture of Arsenic and Old Lace and The Thin Man, Behave falls far short of its goals. One of the reasons for this is simply its casting. Farley Granger is a good looking leading man and when handled correctly is capable of giving a pleasing comedic performance, but he's no Cary Grant or William Powell, who could naturally fall into this kind of part and through sheer charm and presence make it work. AndShelley Winters, while capable of some very fine acting in the right circumstances, can also easily turn into an annoying and irritating persona, which she does here. George Beck's slipshod direction doesn't give them the guidance they crucially need, nor can he conjure up that difficulty mixture of laughter, suspense and quirkiness that is called for. Beck isn't helped by his self-penned screenplay, which strains far too hard for laughs and ends up falling back on some tired (even for the period) mother-in-law jokes. That said, Behave does have the blessing of a marvelous supporting cast, and the likes of William Demarest, Hans Conreid, Elisha Cook, Jr. and Sheldon Leonard keep the film afloat.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/24/2012
UPC:
0874757035390
Original Release:
1951
Source:
American Pop Classic
Time:
1:20:00
Sales rank:
84,648

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Farley Granger Bill Denny
Shelley Winters Kate Denny
William Demarest O'Ryan
Francis L. Sullivan Fat Fred
Margalo Gillmore Mrs. Carter
Lon Chaney Pinky
Hans Conried Gillie
Glenn Anders Starn
Allen Jenkins Detective
Sheldon Leonard Bert
Marvin Kaplan Max
Elisha Cook Jonas
Henry Corden Numi

Technical Credits
George Beck Director,Screenwriter
Constantin Bakaleinikoff Musical Direction/Supervision
Mel Berns Makeup
Phil Brigandi Sound/Sound Designer
Albert S. D'Agostino Art Director
Buddy Ebsen Songwriter
Leigh Harline Score Composer
James Wong Howe Cinematographer
J. McMillan Johnson Production Designer
Norman Krasna Producer
Harley Miller Set Decoration/Design
Clem Portman Sound/Sound Designer
Stanley Crea Rubin Associate Producer
Darrell Silvera Set Decoration/Design
Lew Spence Songwriter
Jerry Wald Producer
Paul Weatherwax Editor

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