What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2021) with… Room For One More (1952)

We’re pulling double-duty again!  Today’s movie is the 1952 film Room For One More (which was based on the autobiographical book by Anna Perrot Rose)!  This film was released on Blu-ray earlier this year, and, since it stars Cary Grant, it works just as well in celebrating him as the Star Of The Month!  Of course, his co-star is actress (and Cary’s wife at the time) Betsy Drake.  But first, we’ve got a couple of theatrical shorts to start us off with.

Coming Up Shorts! with… Operation: Rabbit (1952)

(available as an extra on the Room For One More Blu-ray from Warner Archive)

(Length: 7 minutes, 18 seconds)

Wile E. Coyote tries (and, of course, fails) to catch Bugs Bunny to eat him.  This is a fun cartoon, one I’ve been watching (and enjoying) for years.  While it still feels weird to have Wile E. Coyote speaking, it works well for this short.  Like always, his failed attempts make for a lot of fun (and an explosion or two).  Not to mention one of my favorite final lines from any of the Looney Tunes cartoons!  I know I have a good time whenever I get the chance to see this one!

Coming Up Shorts! with… Feed The Kitty (1952)

(available as an extra on the Room For One More Blu-ray from Warner Archive)

(Length: 7 minutes, 22 seconds)

Bulldog Marc Anthony takes in the kitten Pussyfoot, but has to keep the kitten hidden from his owner.  Another cartoon I’ve seen for years, and also enjoyed!  Of course, the kitten keeps getting into trouble and almost being discovered.  But, it’s Marc Anthony’s attempts to keep the kitten hidden that keep it fun (not to mention seeing his reaction when he thinks the kitten is being turned into a cookie)!  I know I still like to watch this cartoon every now and then, and I certainly recommend it!

And Now For The Main Feature…

After touring an orphanage with a group of women from the PTA, Anna Rose (Betsy Drake) expresses interest in possibly fostering a child.  The orphanage director, Miss Kenyon (Lurene Tuttle), is quick to take her up on the idea, but first Anna needs to go home and talk it over with her husband, George “Poppy” Rose (Cary Grant).  At home, he is helping his three children, which include Teenie (George Winslow), Trot (Gay Gordon) and Tim (Malcolm Cassell), deliver a new litter of kittens.  Before Anna has a chance to talk things over with him, Miss Kenyon arrives with a young girl, Jane (Iris Mann).  Poppy is less than thrilled with the idea, but with the news that Jane would only be there for two weeks and the government helping pay for her stay there (not to mention his wife’s pleading), he decides to live with the idea.  Due to her past issues with her own parents, Jane doesn’t get along with anybody, but Anna convinces her to earn her own keep.  With time, Jane mellows out, and when Miss Kenyon comes to pick Jane up, Poppy decides to let her stay (to the joy of everybody).  Soon, Poppy plans a vacation for everyone (with the hope that he and his wife can manage some “alone time”), but, unbeknownst to him, Anna has agreed to take in another child.   When he is finally told, Poppy objects. However, upon going to the summer school to say that he won’t be taking the boy, he meets the intended child, Jimmy-John (Clifford Tatum, Jr.), and, seeing the poor treatment of the boy by his teacher (since he is wearing braces on his legs and struggling in school), Poppy decides to bring him along.  The trip proves troublesome, as Jimmy-John is rather mean-spirited in how he treats everybody else.  But, he is up against the loving and determined Anna, who starts to get through to him.  Troubles continue to come when Jane is asked to the New Year’s Eve prom (and needs an evening gown) and Jimmy-John joins the Boy Scouts.  Will they be able to sort through all these troubles, or will Anna’s attempt to raise these children go kablooey?

Prior to the recent Blu-ray release (more on that in a moment), I hadn’t heard of this movie, and, upon learning of its existence, I will readily admit that Cary Grant’s presence made this movie look appealing. And he didn’t disappoint! He works well with Betsy Drake’s Anna, as he knows what trouble can come when she gets that “gleam in her eye” (and he also knows that he can’t fight it, no matter how much he wants to). Even though he is initially resistant to the two new kids being included in the family, he still becomes a very supportive father for them. Of course, Cary Grant still manages to work the comedy well, with a particularly memorable moment being when he hides some vacation stuff in his desk at work, and an inflatable rubber raft starts to inflate while he’s trying to avoid some extra work from his boss. The only point about Cary Grant that doesn’t quite work is his tan, which just seems out of place for his occupation and lifestyle (but it’s really only noticeable when he’s at the beach, which is only for a few minutes).

Cary Grant is hardly the only reason this movie is wonderful. Plain and simple, it’s a nice, heartwarming movie. The child actors are all good, as we see them learn to care for each other. I’ve heard this movie compared to sitcoms of the era, and it certainly feels like a valid comparison (especially considering it was turned into a sitcom, with a different cast, for the 1961-1962 television season). It definitely has an episodic feel to it, with one section of the movie devoted to Jane’s introduction to the family, another to Jimmy-John’s, and the rest devoted to Jane being invited to the New Year’s Eve prom as well as Jimmy-John trying to join the Boy Scouts. But, again, you can feel the love the characters all have for each other, and that makes the movie. I highly recommend this one!

This movie is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Warner Archive Collection, working from a 2K scan from best preservation elements for the Blu-ray.  The fact that it’s from Warner Archive says it all.  This film looks fantastic, with improved detail and clarity.  Seriously, while I keep heaping praise on these Warner Archive releases, I never get tired of it, as it makes their releases an easy choice to look into!  And I certainly would recommend this Blu-ray as the best way to see this wonderful movie!

Film Length: 1 hour, 35 minutes

My Rating: 9/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948)Cary GrantAn Affair To Remember (1957)

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