Free For All (1949)

Article 3353 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 9-4-2010
Posting Date: 10-19-2010
Directed by Charles Barton
Featuring Robert Cummings, Ann Blyth, Percy Kilbride
Country: USA
What it is: Inventor comedy

An inventor concocts a pill that can turn water into gasoline.

This one fell off of my hunt list some time ago, but someone pointed me in the direction of a copy, so I’m glad to finally review it. Yet, now having seen it, I really don’t have a lot to say about it. It’s a middling-to-fair comedy about an man who invents a pill that converts water into gasoline, and his run-in with an oil company who fears it will put them out of business and try to get the formula for themselves. It has some satirical possibilities, but the movie doesn’t really explore them, settling instead for hackneyed situations and forced contrivances. Still, it’s fun to see Percy Kilbride in something other than his Ma and Pa Kettle comedies, and the cast also features Percy Helton and Ray Collins.


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