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REVIEWS
"Room For One More"
aka "The Easy Way"



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Character's Name: George "Poppy" Rose
Release Date:  January 26, 1952
Director: Norman Taurog
Studio:  Warner Bros.
Running Time: 97 minutes

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 Olsen (Ben)

The picture may also have been released under the title:
'The Easy Way'


Plot:
- by ZoŽ Shaw
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 (difficult) children.

Review: 
- 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

VARIETY 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 Lou Treen.

Production-wise, film benefits from the excellent Robert Burks photography and the easy-listening Max Steiner music score. 

NEW YORK 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 episodes winningly.

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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