Golden Fleecing

The Golden Fleecing

Director: Leslie Fenton

Cast: Leslie Fenton, Lew Ayres, Rita Johnson, Lloyd Nolan

     
 
Dumb but honest insurance agent Henry Twinkle (Lew Ayres) is in love with Mary Blake (Rita Johnson), the secretary of Henry's boss. To impress Mary, Henry sells a huge policy to wealthy Gus Fender (Lloyd Nolan), who turns out to be a notorious gangster on the lam from the law. If he wants to save his job, Henry will have to protect Fender from being killed. After a

Overview

Dumb but honest insurance agent Henry Twinkle (Lew Ayres) is in love with Mary Blake (Rita Johnson), the secretary of Henry's boss. To impress Mary, Henry sells a huge policy to wealthy Gus Fender (Lloyd Nolan), who turns out to be a notorious gangster on the lam from the law. If he wants to save his job, Henry will have to protect Fender from being killed. After a series of hair-raising adventures, hapless Henry ends up collecting the reward money for Fender's capture, only to be duped into turning it all over to the gangster for bail money. Saving Henry's hide-and his relationship with Mary-is a share of seemingly worthless stock which unexpectedly pays off big-time.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
A good premise can go a long way toward making a good comedy, but as The Golden Fleecing demonstrates, it is not enough by itself. With Fleecing, the premise is certainly far-fetched and unlikely, but in the right hands it could server to mine a rich load of laughter. Unfortunately, in the hands of director Leslie Fenton and a team of writers that surprisingly includes noted humorist S.J. Perelman, it produces only a smattering of chuckles, with nary a guffaw in sight. The story that has been grafted onto the premise sounds good in theory, but in practice it misses the boat. Set-ups don't pay off as they should, the pacing is askew, jokes too frequently don't find their marks, and attempts at being a bit zany fall flat. To be fair, the blame is not solely with the director and writers. Lew Ayres is utterly miscast in this kind of comic role, giving a performance that strains when it needs to be effortless, and that can only attempt to indicate the kind of comic mania that the role requires. Fleecing needs a very particular kind of personality in the role -- not an actor, but a comic, and Ayres is not the man for the job. Fortunately, the film has Lloyd Nolan turning in a good performance as the mobster and some very performances (in admittedly small parts) by William Demarest, Nat Pendleton and Leon Errol. They can't make Fleecing a good movie, but they give it a little shine.

Product Details

Release Date:
12/04/2012
UPC:
0883316679227
Original Release:
1940
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Archives
Region Code:
0
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Time:
1:08:00
Sales rank:
59,114

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Lew Ayres Henry Twinkle
Rita Johnson Mary Blake
Lloyd Nolan Gus Fender
Virginia Grey Lila Hanley
Nat Pendleton "Fatso" Werner
Leon Errol Uncle Waldo
George Lessey Buckley Sloan
Richard Carle Pattington
Ralph Byrd Larry Kelly
Marc Lawrence "Happy" Dugan
Thurston Hall Charles Engel
James Burke Sibley
Spencer Charters Justice of Peace
William Demarest Swallow

Technical Credits
Leslie Fenton Director
Frank Fenton Original Story
Conrad A. Nervig Editor
Marion Parsonnet Screenwriter
Laura Perelman Screenwriter
S.J. Perelman Screenwriter
Lynn Root Original Story
Edgar Selwyn Producer
Leonard Smith Cinematographer

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