Mr. Lucky

Mr. Lucky

Director: H.C. Potter

Cast: Cary Grant, Laraine Day, Charles Bickford

     
 

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One of Cary Grant's most financially successful 1940s vehicles, Mr. Lucky finds Grant atypically cast as a shifty, out-for-number-one gambler. Having dodged the draft by adopting the identity of a dead man, Grant sets his sights on purchasing a fancy gambling ship. To raise the necessary funds, he pretends to be working hand in glove with the American WarSee more details below

Overview

One of Cary Grant's most financially successful 1940s vehicles, Mr. Lucky finds Grant atypically cast as a shifty, out-for-number-one gambler. Having dodged the draft by adopting the identity of a dead man, Grant sets his sights on purchasing a fancy gambling ship. To raise the necessary funds, he pretends to be working hand in glove with the American War Relief society. Once he meets Laraine Day, however, Grant is seized by an uncontrollable bout of honesty. It takes him awhile, but he finally does the right thing. The film is framed in flashback, as old seaman Charles Bickford explains why a tearful Laraine Day waits at the dock each evening for a certain ship to come in. Also in the cast is Paul Stewart as a cold-eyed but nonetheless semi-comic hoodlum, and Kay Johnson and Gladys Cooper as elegant but gullible society women. The best aspect of this breezy comedy-drama is Grant's cockney propensity for "rhyming slang," a running gag better heard than described. Mr. Lucky was later adapted into a TV series in 1959, with John Vivyan in the Cary Grant part and with Blake Edwards at the production controls.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
Mr. Lucky walks a fine line between comedy and drama, in a time when crossing that line could have exploded the whole project in the faces of all concerned. The movie was released well into America's involvement in World War II, and the mix of sometimes Damon Runyon-esque underworld antics and some very serious wartime themes would have seemed a difficult one to tackle on its face -- Cary Grant and director H. C. Potter pull it off, however, capturing just the correct tone of earnestness and comedy, drama and gentle poking-of-fun, involving many of the best and worst sides of human nature. Laraine Day is surprisingly effective in a role that requires her to play straight for long chunks of the movie, and then convincingly let her hair down at strategic moments -- all so that we're convinced of the depth of her despair at the start and finish of the picture. And through it all, with a glib word and winning smile is Grant, displaying the same sort of cool that Sean Connery would have to master, on a more flamboyant level, in the role of James Bond two decades later (and looking at this movie in the twenty-first century one sees exactly why the makers of the Bond movies had Grant on their wish-list for the role in the beginning, had they only had the money and the clout to interest him). It's no surprise that the picture earned a fortune at the time, giving audiences enough laughs to forget the worst sides of the war without denying that reality -- or that it yielded a TV series almost 20 years later.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/23/2009
UPC:
0883316126899
Original Release:
1943
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Archives
Presentation:
[B&W, Full Frame]
Time:
1:40:00
Sales rank:
30,304

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Cary Grant Joe Adams
Laraine Day Dorothy Bryant
Charles Bickford Hard Swede
Gladys Cooper Capt. Steadman
Alan Carney Crunk
Henry Stephenson Mr. Bryant
Paul Stewart Zepp
Kay Johnson Mrs. Ostrander
Erford Gage Gaffer
Walter Kingsford Convoy Commissioner Hargraves
J.M. Kerrigan McDougal
Edward Fielding Foster
Vladimir Sokoloff Greek Priest
Budd Fine Stevedore
Sam Finn Actor
Ray Flynn Cop
Jack Gargan Reporter
Charles Lane Comstock
Al Murphy Actor
Fred Rapport Gambler
Al Rhein Actor
Isabel Withers Actor
Art Yeoman Actor
Daphne Moore Nurse
Joseph Crehan Detective
Mary Forbes Dowager
Frank Mills Workman at Slot Machine
Don Brodie Dealer
John Bleifer Siga
Mary Stuart Girl
Rita Corday Girl
Ariel Heath Girl
Charles Cane Comstock
Florence Bates Mrs. Van Every
Hilda Plowright Maid
Kernan Cripps Detective
Hal K. Dawson Draft Board Director
Sam Harris Gambling Extra
Frank Henry Reporter on Street
Lloyd Ingraham Taxi Driver
Emory Parnell Dock Watchman
Robert Strange Captain Costello
Juan Varro Joe Bascopolus

Technical Credits
H.C. Potter Director
Constantin Bakaleinikoff Musical Direction/Supervision
George Barnes Cinematographer
Claude E. Carpenter Set Decoration/Design
Albert S. D'Agostino Art Director
David Hempstead Producer
Milton Holmes Original Story,Screenwriter
Mark-Lee Kirk Art Director
William Cameron Menzies Production Designer
Renie Costumes/Costume Designer
Harry Scott Asst. Director
Adrian Scott Screenwriter
Darrell Silvera Set Decoration/Design
James G. Stewart Sound/Sound Designer
Richard VanHessen Sound/Sound Designer
Vernon Walker Special Effects
Theron Warth Editor
Roy Webb Score Composer

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