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The Kid From Brooklyn

The Kid From Brooklyn

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The Kid From Brooklyn  Shy milkman Burleigh Sullivan accidentally knocks out drunken Speed McFarlane, a champion boxer who was flirting with Burleigh’s sister. The newspapers get hold of the story and photographers even catch Burleigh knock out Speed again. Speed’s crooked manager decides to turn Burleigh into a fighter. Burleigh doesn’t realize that all of his opponents have been asked to take a dive. Thinking he really is a great fighter, Burleigh develops a swelled head which puts a crimp in his relationship with pretty nightclub singer Polly Pringle. He may finally get his comeuppance when he challenges Speed for the title.

Up there with Danny Kaye’s best

The Kid From Brooklyn  As has been said, it does help to like Danny Kaye in order to enjoy the film. However, along with other great Kaye vehicles such as ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’, ‘The Court Jester’ and ‘Hans Christian Andersen’, those who didn’t like him initially may find themselves converted.

The weak link of ‘The Kid from Brooklyn’ is the songs, pleasant enough and not awful certainly but none of them really are among Jule Styne/Sammy Cahn’s better songs, with most of them being pretty forgettable after a few days. “Pavlova” is a gem this said and a great example of Kaye’s tongue-twisting/pattering genius.

On the other hand, ‘The Kid from Brooklyn’ looks great, being beautifully shot in rich Technicolor and the costumes (especially Eve Arden’s) are gorgeous. The script sparkles with wit and charm, also being devoid of the sentimentality that could mar some of Kaye’s later work, and while some of the story is total nonsense you’re just having so much fun and not having much care in the world to properly care.

Kaye is in his element, delivering a performance that’s both hilarious and endearing.

He gets sterling support from his supporting cast. Whether in the glamour stakes like with Virginia Mayo and Vera Ellen, or in the snappy ones with Lionel Stander, Steve Cochran and especially sparkling Eve Arden. Fay Bainter is also along for the ride in less subdued form to usual (not a knock at all on the actress, just a comment on her usual roles).

In conclusion, very good and up there with Kaye’s best.


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