Cast: Cary Grant ("Poppy" Rose), Betsy Drake (Anna Rose),
Lurene Tuttle (Miss Kenyon), Randy Stuart (Mrs.Foreman), John Ridgely
(Harry Foreman, Irving Bacon (The Mayor), Mary Lou Treon (Mrs.
Roberts), Iris Mann (Jane), George Winslow (Teenie), Clifford Tatum,
Jr. (Jimmy-John), Gay Gordon (Trot), Malcolm Cassell (Tim), Larry
The picture may also have been released under the
'The Easy Way'
- by ZoŽ
The Rose home is a happy
place. "Poppy" tries hard to make ends meet for his wife and three
kids. His wife likes to take in strays, and they end up adopting another two
- by Gael Sweeney
This film was based on a popular book of the early fifties
written by Anna Perott Rose -- I know because it was one of my favorites as a child, even
before I'd ever heard of Cary Grant! Mrs. Rose is a collector or unwanted and problem
children and animals, much to the dismay of her long-suffering husband (Cary, in his most
"domestic" role ever). The film is basically an ode to foster care -- hardly the
kind of romantic comedy we expect to see Cary revel in (Jimmy Stewart, perhaps...). Cary
is sweet with the children -- if never exactly comfortable -- which actually works well
for his dubious "Poppy" Rose. As is true with many fifties domestic flicks, the
"heart-warming" moments are laid on thickly. Nevertheless, his co-star here is
Cary's then wife, Betsy Drake, so watching the interplay between the two is quite
revealing. And speaking of revealing, Dear Old Dad or not, Cary has a wow of a scene
wearing a pair of white swimming trunks and not much else! Whoever decided that these
beefcake scenes be inserted into EVERY Cary film -- Amen to you
Film Review - January 16, 1952
- by "Brog"
- submitted by Barry Martin
A happy combination of good humor and warm drama has been put
together with neat results in "Room for One More." It
has an unusually good word-of-mouth potential that should be a
trade stimulator after initial openings, indicating profitable
grossing possibilities in overall release.
Cary Grant and Betsy Drake make a
smart star team to head up this story of a real-life couple who
open hearts and home to unfortunate children. Themselves Mr. and
Mrs. Grant and Miss Drake spark the film with the humor it needs
without neglecting any of the honest tugs at the heart the story
has. Both Henry Blanke's production supervision and Norman
Taurog's direction are understanding and sell the mixture of
naturally humorous incidents and genuinely moving sentiment.
"Poppy" and Anna Rose
were a Lynwood, N.J., couple in middle-class circumstances who
still found time to try to do something for the "disturbed
adolescent" type of child and direct them towards being good
citizens. The wife, Anna Perrott Rose, put the family adventures
down in book form, and Jack Rose and Melville Shavelson have done
a topnotch job of finding the natural screenplay material in it.
The man-wife talk is honest, told with an open frankness that goes
with the happy family flavor of the film. That frankness also
lends itself to some of the most straightforward "birds and
bees" straightforward "birds and bees" talk yet to
hit the screen. In fact, Grant's explanation of procreation to a
curious youngster is a good model for real-life parents.
Yarn tells of the Roses,
financially insecure and with three youngsters of their own,
bringing into their uninhibited family life two children whom
life's hard knocks are rapidly warping beyond repair. One is a
sullen girl of 13, already scarred beyond her years because of
being unwanted anywhere. The other is a crippled boy, already on
his way towards being a mean, retarded citizen.
Humor balances the honest
tear-jerking as the domestic setup is played off. Familiar
situations that arise have a fresh touch and there are a number of
new ones that register strongly as the two "disturbed
adolescents" respond to the love, kindness and understanding
generously handed out by the Roses.
Iris Mann and Clifford Tatum, Jr.,
are the two misfits of life remolded during their stay with the
Roses, and the two youngsters play their roles for strong results.
The Rose offspring are portrayed excellently by George Winslow,
Gay Gordon and Malcolm Cassell. Little Winslow is a frog-voiced
five-year-old and his sonorous croaks, while unintelligible
mostly, make for a laugh-provoking delivery.
There are some fine, if short-footaged,
performances from adults cast in supporting parts. They include
Lurene Tuttle, Randy Stuart, John Ridgely, Irving Bacon and Mary
Production-wise, film benefits from
the excellent Robert Burks photography and the easy-listening Max
Steiner music score.
TIMES Film Review - January 16, 1952
- by Bosley Crowther
- submitted by Barry Martin
Regard and affection for children are proper sentiments, to say
the least, and warm generosity toward the nippers is a loveable
adult trait. Particularly is it attractive when directed
toward children other than one's own. (No need to go any
further into an endorsement of parental love.) And that is
why most of the Warners' new comedy, "Room for One
More," which came yesterday to the Warner Theatre, makes for
generally appealing movie fare.
So long as this anecdotal look-in
upon the experience of a husband and wife in bringing up two
foster children, as well as three of their own, sticks simply to
the humorous complications that arise in a house full of kids,
plus appropriate livestock and paraphernalia, it has genuine
gaiety and domestic charm. For writers Jack Rose and
Melville Shavelson have plucked some amusing episodes of communal
life in an energetic family from the book by Anna Perrott Rose,
and Cary Grant, Betsy Drake and a gang of youngsters play these
There are few people in the
business who can cock their heads and pop their eyes at an event
such as a cat having kittens under the kitchen stove with quite
the amusing vexation that Mr. Grant can manage to show. His
tolerance toward the manifold inconveniences that a burdened
father inevitably endures is the sort that should be the soothing
solace and encouragement of every papa in the land.
Likewise, Miss Drake gives a nice show of maternal solicitude
toward all and sundry of God's living creatures that come within
her ken - the sort that should dangerously parboil the cockles of
every woman's heart. And Iris Mann as a briefly rebellious
adopted daughter, Clifford Tatum Jr. as a tough adopted son and
George Winslow as the inevitably cute tadpole (aged 5) are
appealing, too, so long as they are kept within the traces of
reasonable problems and behavior of the young.
Even a measure of the sentiment the
picture is shaped to generate over the loneliness of the foster
children has validity. The resentments of unwanted children
are fairly well realized, and some of the simple devices for
overcoming such resentments are touchingly displayed. But
when the tugs on the heartstrings are expanded into forceful and
uninhibited pulls, leading out from the foster son, a cripple,
then mawkishness sets in. And the climax becomes a maudlin
set-to with the Boy Scout oath and the American flag.
Also - and this we mention primly -
there is a little more sport than need be made of the manner in
which the children interfere with the cuddling of pa and ma.
That's an old joke, and being extended to the length of a running
gag, it becomes not only tedious but just a wee bit unwholesome,
we would say. An intricate Freudian situation is suggested
in the handling of this gag, and that's not a very fortunate
suggestion in an essentially uncomplicated film, having to do with
children and the joyful recompenses thereof.
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