US/1947/B&W/ Full Screen 1.33:1/Mono/120 minutes/Directed by Jack Conway/Starring Clark Gable, Deborah Kerr, Sydney Greenstreet/MGM-UA/34 Chaps/CLV/$34.95

            This smooth vehicle for Clark Gable about the advertising industry features fast pacing that perfectly echoes the industry it points it sharp wit at. Combining the biting satire with an elegant romance between Gable and English Deborah Kerr in her first American film balances the acid of the film nicely.

            Vic Norman (Gable) is newly back from the war and can't wait to break back onto the ad scene. Norman quick cons agency owner Kimberley, played dripping obsequious oil by Adolph Menjou, into hiring him to handle the beauty soap account. Beauty soap is helmed by one Evan Llewellyn Evans, drawn by Sydney Greenstreet in one of the most  thoroughly disgusting screen characterizations in memory. Greenstreet spews forth his power in the crudest possible way with delicious irony as even having the faintest connection to anything related to beauty. During the course of his relationship with Beauty Soap and his growing love for socialite Kay Dorrance (Kerr), Norman is forced to discover himself all over again.

            Gable is strong enough to cope with Greenstreet, confident enough to manipulate Menjou, and charming enough to win Kerr. On hand is beautiful Ava Gardner as a night club singer and former Gable love, Edward Arnold in a finely sensitive portrait of a Hollywood agent, and Keenan Wynn as a raucously abrasive washed up comic.            Director Jack Conway helming his fifth and last collaboration with Gable is comfortably in command of the production.

            Ultimately, this is a very satisfying film that measures up on many levels. The performances are top draw, Gable and Kerr a fine chemical mix, and much of the wit memorable. "Love that soap!"

            The source material for the disc is in very good condition and the transfer has provided excellently balanced blacks and whites on the disc. The clean pressing has little unwanted video noise and the  mono soundtrack is without annoying hiss.















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