Friday, March 02, 2007

The Great Moment (1944)

**½
USA
Probably the beginning of Preston Sturges' decline (though technically he filmed it in 1942 - it was taken out of his hands by the studio and released two years later). His first more or less straight drama, it's a beautifully photographed but otherwise stilted biopic of the dentist who invented anaesthetics - or at least claimed to have done. Several gentlemen in the medical field independently disputed his right to the patent, and the makers of this picture are so crudely and desperately insistent to portray these gentlemen as misguided that you start to get a bit wary.
The script is also credited to Sturges but the dialogue is so wooden it's difficult to accept he could be responsible for it.
wr/dir: Preston Sturges
ph: Victor Milner
cast: Joel McCrea, Betty Field, Harry Carey, William Demarest, Louis Jean Heydt, Julius Tannen, Edwin Maxwell, Porter
Hall

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