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O. Henry's Full House (1952)

Approved | | Drama | 16 October 1952 (USA)
John Steinbeck introduces a quintet of five of O. Henry's most celebrated stories from his New York Period (1902-1910) in this anthology film.

Writers:

Lamar Trotti (screen play), Richard L. Breen (screen play) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Fred Allen ... Sam 'Slick' Brown (segment "The Ransom of Red Chief")
Anne Baxter ... Joanna Goodwin (segment "The Last Leaf")
Jeanne Crain ... Della (segment "The Gift of the Magi")
Farley Granger ... Jim (segment "The Gift of the Magi")
Charles Laughton ... Soapy (segment "The Cop and the Anthem")
Oscar Levant ... Bill Peoria (segment "The Ransom of Red Chief")
Marilyn Monroe ... Streetwalker (segment "The Cop and the Anthem")
Jean Peters ... Susan Goodwin (segment "The Last Leaf")
Gregory Ratoff ... Behrman (segment "The Last Leaf")
Dale Robertson ... Barney Woods (segment "The Clarion Call")
David Wayne ... Horace (segment "The Cop and the Anthem")
Richard Widmark ... Johnny Kernan (segment "The Clarion Call")
Joyce Mackenzie ... Hazel Woods (segment "The Clarion Call") (scenes deleted) (as Joyce MacKenzie)
Lee Aaker ... J.B. Dorset aka Red Chief (segment "The Ransom of Red Chief")
Richard Rober ... Chief of Detectives (segment "The Clarion Call")
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Storyline

"O. Henry's Full House" is a film divided in five segments telling five tales in the beginning of the Twentieth Century. 1) "The Cop and the Anthem": the winter is coming and the homeless drifter Soapy wants to go to jail for three months to get shelter and food. His partner Horace suggests they look for shelter with the Salvation Army, but Soapy refuses. He forces many situations to be arrested but he is always forgiven. When he goes to the church, there is a miracle and Soapy decides to seek a job position. Will he succeed? 2) "The Clarion Call": when a thief kills a man, the police investigators do not have any lead to follow. Police Sergeant Barney Woods sees a pen that was found in the crime scene and he seeks out a man called Johnny Kernan. He finds Johnny that invites Barney to drink with him and they go to his hotel room. Johnny recalls their youth, when they were friends but Barney tells that he must arrest him since he recognized the pen that belonged to Johnny. However the ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A dozen top stars - five famed directors bring you the best stories of O. Henry!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 October 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Baghdad on the Subway See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After the popular and critical success of two British anthology films based on W. Somerset Maugham short stories, Quartet (1948) and Trio (1950), with different casts and crews for each episode, 20th Century-Fox felt that the time was right for an American version of this format. See more »

Goofs

The third segment is supposed to take place in Greenwich Village, but the street sign indicates the location is near east 19th Street. The northern border of Greenwich Village is 14th Street. See more »

Quotes

Sam 'Slick' Brown: Pull yourself together, William! What's a confidence man without confidence?
See more »

Alternate Versions

The "Ransom of Red Chief" segment was deleted after the film's initial engagements, then restored in the television prints. See more »

Connections

Version of The Ransom of Red Chief (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Softly and Tenderly Jesus Is Calling
(1880) (uncredited
Written by Will L. Thompson
Played and Sung in Church
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Full House" A Fulfilling Deck of A Film ***1/2
24 October 2009 | by edwagreenSee all my reviews

Terrific 1952 film highlighting the famous writer's work. It certainly must have been a pleasure to be a contract player for 20th Century Fox at that time so that you could have a part in such a great film.

The most poignant of the 5 vignettes shown was where Anne Baxter, a rejected woman, is succumbing to pneumonia and equates her situation to falling leaves. With her sister, Jean Peters at her side, she continues to fail as the leaves fall off. Gregory Ratoff is marvelous as the upstairs neighbor, Mr. Berman, whose paintings aren't appreciated as he paints out of the ordinary sequences. His final effort, a life-saver for Baxter, is memorable and so touching.

2 segments provided comic relief. Charles Laughton is sensational as the hobo trying to get arrested so as to avoid the cold wintry weather on the streets. While in church he promises to mend his ways and look for work only to finally be arrested for vagrancy and sentenced to 90 days. Laughton, as versatile as ever, is aided by David Wayne. The second comedy is where Fred Allen and Oscar Levant kidnap a young boy only to get more than they bargained for in "Ransom of Red Chief." Both men are hilarious as they fall victim to the young menacing brat.

The always excellent Richard Widmark almost reprises his role in 1947's "Kiss of Death." He again displays that sinister laugh and face in a segment with Dale Robertson, both men matching wits as friends. Robertson grew up as a cop and you can guess what Widmark has become.

The film ends with the final segment of the meaning of the Christmas holiday with Jean Crain and Farley Granger.

The film is so good because each story essentially deals with sacrifice in its own way. This is truly a classic to be remembered through the ages.


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