Film Review of Home Town Story: An Abandoned Mine, a Big Factory, a Crusading Editor, and a Decrepit Tunnel
A state senator who loves the legislature abhors losing re-election to the son of his home town’s most powerful and wealthiest employer. But the now ex-senator’s colleagues, employees, family, and girlfriend believe that the voters elected the better-suited candidate. Can an ex-politician be happy and successful as a newspaper editor or is a pay-back campaign in two years irresistible in the movie “Home Town Story”?
Home Town Story is a drama film.
Big businesses are blessings, curses, or something in-between. All three perceptions are vented in Home Town Story, written, produced and directed by Arthur Pierson. Cinematography, editing, and music were respectively by Lucien N. Andriot; William F. Claxton; and Louis Forbes and Alfred Newman.
The film lasts 61 minutes. It was distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It was released on May 18, 1951.
The movie begins with ex-state senator (played by Jeffrey Lynn) disembarking from United flight 173. Winning candidate Robert MacFarland (played by Hugh Beaumont) greets Blake. Blake hits Robert’s campaign manager Abbott (played by Tom Keene) for mocking Blake’s campaign slogan “The People’s Choice”.
Blake accompanies Janice Hunt (played by Marjorie Reynolds) to the Barbecue Room after giving sister Katie (played by Melinda Plowman) a black-and-white puppy. Blake dislikes comments sugar-coating his defeat. Janice dislikes comments regarding their seven-year engagement.
Blake assumes Uncle Cliff’s (played by Griff Barnett) position as Herald editor. He begins anti-big business crusades. He reluctantly learns from chemical division head Andy Butterworth (played by Harry Harvey) that MacFarland Manufacturing Company dilutes acids for treatment plants and incinerates solvents rather than pollute the White River. Despite reporter/friend Slim Haskins’ (played by Alan Hale Jr.) objections, Blake raises circulation 500 copies by criticizing big business profits.
John MacFarland (played by Donald Crisp) asks Blake to write about “profits to the customer”. He justifies record profits and stockholder earnings. He maintains that customers profit whenever MacFarland electric motors work beyond costs.
A Fairfax Valley Light & Power Co. service vehicle leaves a “Danger: Road Closed – Slide Area” sign overturned. Janice organizes an outing for her third-graders near Copper Hill’s abandoned mine. The Lincoln Grammar School bus driver uses the dangerous road, because an entrance pillar hides the overturned sign.
Katie follows her puppy into tunnel #3. The tunnel collapses. A bulldozer moves enough rubble for Blake to retrieve Katie.
John arranges for Dr. Johnson (played by Nelson Leigh) to check Katie. Katie needs an emergency operation within two hours. John pilots the Washburns in his plane to Capital City. Katie survives because of MacFarland’s electric motor.
The movie ends with Blake explaining customer profits in his editor’s column and suggesting marriage to Janice.
Home Town Story packages drama, laughs, and romance into happy endings. Alan provides humor as the Barbecue Room’s problem diner. Marilyn Monroe, as Blake’s secretary Iris Martin, provides laughs regarding manners and preferences for a delivery truck business owner over a newspaper employee.
Copyright: Thursday, July 19, 2012 by Derdriu.