For Reel

Mr. Lucky (1943)
November 23, 2014, 3:08 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: H.C. Potter
3.5 Stars
Mr. LuckyEarly in the 1940s, Cary Grant began a shift in his screen persona from a rather straightforward wisecracker to something with more of an edge. His charming, agreeable personality was especially challenged in Hitchcock’s Suspicion in 1941, in which Grant was cast as the husband of a woman who believes him to be a murderer. Mr. Lucky is not nearly as dark in that respect, although it does cast Grant as an opportunistic gambler who tries to swindle a charity while dodging the draft. The difference between his performance here and in his darker roles is that the audience actively roots for his change of heart–he may be slimy, but he’s never threatening. He’s cynical, but he laughs about it. Perhaps Mr. Lucky would have been more memorable had it pushed the darker aspects of the character more completely, but as it is it serves as a fairly agreeable comedy. Grant gets plenty of opportunities to be silly (the faces he makes while learning to knit are hysterical) and his talented co-star Laraine Day is given a role with a fair bit of authority–it’s not simply that she’s sweet that Grant is inspired to turn the corner, but that she’s empowered enough to kick him into shape.

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