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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Never Say Goodbye (1946) - Charming family comedy

A young girl becomes a war-time marine's pen-pal, and when he visits at war's end expecting someone a bit more "available," comic complications ensue. All ultimately works out well, naturally, but not before everyone involved has thoroughly chewed the scenery. Errol Flynn's dead-on impression of Humphrey Bogart from "Casablanca" is a highlight, as are various send-ups of his own swashbuckling image (the "jumping" scene in the kitchen with Forrest Tucker is a riot). It is Tucker, though, who "tucks" the movie under his arm, lowers his head and barrels over the goal line. He demonstrates the comic flair more fully developed twenty years later in "F-Troop" and imparts a liveliness and energy that Flynn repeatedly plays off to raise his own performance. Eleanor Parker does a fine job as the woman being pursued, and little Patti Brady charms as Tucker's actual pen-pal friend. A fine, lightweight "coming home" comedy in a genteel setting that children and romantics of all ages should find entertaining.

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