Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB. USA, 1947. The Samuel Goldwyn Company. Screenplay by Ken Englund, Everett Freeman, from a story by James Thurber. Cinematography by Lee Garmes. Produced by Samuel Goldwyn. Music by David Raksin. Production Design by Perry Ferguson, George Jenkins. Costume Design by Irene Sharaff. Film Editing by Monica Collingwood.
A thoroughly delightful experience. Walter Mitty (Danny Kaye in a standout performance) is a lowly editor for a pulp magazine publishing house who spends half of his life daydreaming (perfect for his job of proofreading vampire stories and salacious detective novelettes). In between fantasies about himself as a ship captain or top surgeon, he inadvertently walks into a real-life adventure after a beautiful blonde on his train (Virginia Mayo) enlists his support to help her find a little black book containing secrets that are very valuable to both the Dutch government and some evil ex-Naxis. Mitty is going to have a difficult time helping her, though, since he needs to run lots of errands for his mother (Fay Bainter) every day before returning home to her in the suburbs. Things get even hairier when the blonde gets kidnapped and Mitty can get no help from his friends and family, who think that his dream life has finally taken over his mind. This film is pure fun from beginning to end, stacked with slapstick comedy, charming wit and a nice little message about the rewards of believing in who you are even when the world is averse to your methods. On top of that, it’s got Boris Karloff! You just can’t go wrong here.