Sitting Pretty

Sitting Pretty

Director: Walter Lang, Robert Young, Charles Arnt, Maureen O'Hara

Cast: Walter Lang, Robert Young, Charles Arnt, Maureen O'Hara

     
 
Clifton Webb has the role of a lifetime as Lynn Belvedere, self-styled genius and expert on everything. Belvedere accepts the job of baby-sitting the troublesome children of Robert Young and Maureen O'Hara; he wins the job by calmly dumping a bowl of cold oatmeal on the head of the couple's most contentious offspring! At first the family chafes at Belvedere's

Overview

Clifton Webb has the role of a lifetime as Lynn Belvedere, self-styled genius and expert on everything. Belvedere accepts the job of baby-sitting the troublesome children of Robert Young and Maureen O'Hara; he wins the job by calmly dumping a bowl of cold oatmeal on the head of the couple's most contentious offspring! At first the family chafes at Belvedere's imperiousness and unlimited resourcefulness, but gradually everyone--especially the children--grow quite fond of the man. The couple's snoopy neighbor (Richard Haydn), noting that Belvedere spends quite a lot of time in the house when the husband is away, begins spreading rumors of a clandestine affair. Belvedere only fuels the flames of innuendo by working on a "secret project" in his room. That project turns out to be a book about the community where he is staying, a revealing volume that exposes the pettiness and hypocrisy of several respectable citizens. Robert Young nearly loses his job over the ensuing scandal, but when the community becomes world famous and the object of increased business activity, Belvedere is the hero of the day. Clifton Webb made so vivid an impression as Mr. Belvedere that he repeated the role in two sequels, and played variations of Belvedere (with emphasis on his "child psychology" tactics) in such films as Cheaper by the Dozen and Mr. Scoutmaster. After numerous failed attempts at launching a TV series based on the Gwen Davenport-created character, Mr. Belvedere settled into a long video run in 1985, with Christopher Hewett in the title role and sportscaster Bob Uecker as Belvedere's nonplused employer.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Casting the villainous Clifton Webb -- he of the supremely oily elegance -- in a light and fluffy comedy was quite a gamble, but the gamble paid off in spades for Sitting Pretty. Despite a number of other important assets, Webb is the anchor that keeps bringing this lightweight comedy back to the earth with a deliciously solid and amusing thud; never a crash, of course, for, in this film at least, Walter Lang is too careful and nimble a director to allow anything cataclysmic to happen. He just makes sure that the thrusts and counter thrusts are carefully aimed to nick without damaging. Thus, every conflict is given just the right weight, and the cast deftly walks the careful line between too much and too little. Webb, of course, steals the show, giving the lie to the adage that actors should never play scenes with children; he mops up the floor with those on hand here. He's given great support by Robert Young and Maureen O'Hara, and Richard Haydn even manages to sneak in a few punches of his own. Silly and often predictable, Sitting Pretty nevertheless is sprightly and engaging and a great deal of simple fun.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/16/2013
UPC:
0024543878001
Original Release:
1948
Rating:
NR
Source:
Fox Mod
Presentation:
[B&W, Full Frame]
Time:
1:24:00
Sales rank:
10,954

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Robert Young Harry
Charles Arnt Mr. Taylor
Maureen O'Hara Tacey
Clifton Webb Lynn Belvedere
Ken Christy Mr. McPherson
Richard Haydn Mr. Appleton
Ed Begley Hammond
Mary Field Librarian
Louise Allbritton Edna Philby
Grayce Hampton Mrs. Appleton
Ellen Lowe Effie
Betty Lynn Ginger
Marion Marshall Secretary
Roddy McCaskill Roddy
Mira McKinney Mrs. Phillips
Dave Morris Mailman
Anne O'Neal Mrs. Gibbs
Larry Olsen Larry
Isabel Randolph Mrs. Frisbee
Albin Robeling Maitre d'
Willard Robertson Mr. Ashcroft
John Russell Bill Philby
Sid Saylor Cab Driver
Ann Shoemaker Mrs. Ashcroft
Randy Stuart Peggy
Anthony Sydes Tony
Minerva Urecal Mrs. Maypole
Ruth Warren Matron
Billy Wayne Newsreel Man
Josephine Whittell Mrs. Hammond
Dorothy Adams Mrs. Goul
Gertrude Astor Woman
John Farrell MacDonald Cop
Jane Nigh Mable
Charles Tannen Director
Cara Williams Secretary

Technical Credits
Walter Lang Director
Norbert F. Brodin Cinematographer
Samuel G. Engel Producer
Leland Fuller Art Director
Frederick Hugh Herbert Screenwriter
Harmon Jones Editor
Ernest Lansing Set Decoration/Design
Thomas K. Little Set Decoration/Design
Kay Nelson Costumes/Costume Designer
Alfred Newman Score Composer
Ben Nye Makeup
Edward B. Powell Musical Direction/Supervision
Fred Sersen Special Effects
Lyle Wheeler Art Director

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