The Big Hangover
Nobody sits on the fence so far as The Big Hangover is concerned. Leonard Maltin considers it "predictable, as well as silly and boring," while the late William K. Everson regarded it as one of Hollywood's best and most underappreciated screwball comedies. Examine the premise and judge for yourself: Van Johnson plays David Maldon, an attorney with an acute allergy to liquor. It seems that, during the war, Maldon was nearly drowned in an overstocked wine cellar; ever since that time, he can't even smell booze without becoming inebriated. The young, rich, and pretty Mary Belney (Elizabeth Taylor) does her best to save Maldon from embarrassment whenever he comes into proximity with alcohol. Typical of many postwar comedies, Norman Krasna's screenplay has a sturdy inner lining of social consciousness: Maldon must choose between becoming a partner in a high-profile firm or devoting his time to fighting for the civil rights of minorities. In addition to his scripting chores, Krasna also produced and directed The Big Hangover.