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William A. Seiter
Christopher Parker, inventor, comes up with a formula that makes gasoline out of water. He goes to Washington to register his formula with the patent office and meets Mr. Abbott, who works there. Abbott invites him to come home with him, and he meets Abbott's daughter, Ann. She works for a large oil company and she takes Christopher to meet the company president, Blair. The latter has his scientists try to duplicate the formula mixture, but they fail. Christopher, without registering the formula (he has faith in the honesty of a BIG oil company, returns to Ohio, and Ann and Mr. Blair catch up with him via a helicopter. He is about to sign a contract with the oil company, but an escaped criminal, whom Christopher had earlier given a ride, holds them all up. Christopher falls down a well, loses his memory, and all appears lost.Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Sort of like a goofy American version of "The Man in the White Suit".
One of my favorite British movies of the 1950s is "The Man in the White Suit" with Alec Guinness. However, two years earlier a similar sort of plot was explored in the American film "Free For All"...though it was made with far less subtlety and finesse.
The film begins with Christopher Parker (Bob Cummings) at the US Patent Office getting information about obtaining a patent for his latest invention...pills that turn water into gasoline! Naturally folks are skeptical but when the oil industry learns about the invention, they spring into action. They claim to be interested in Chris and his invention, but they will do just about anything to stop this invention from seeing the light of day.
The film handles this story with no subtlety at all and often goes for goofy laughs. This doesn't make it a bad film...but it does make it slight and silly whereas "The Man in the White Suit" was insightful and clever. Worth seeing.
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