Magic Town (1947) James Stewart, Jane Wyman, Kent Smith, Ned Sparks, Wallace Ford, Regis Toomey Movie Review

Magic Town (1947)   3/53/53/53/53/5

James Stewart and Jane Wyman in Magic Town (1947)

Mr. Smith goes to Grandview

Rip Smith's (James Stewart) opinion-poll business has failed because he has tried to gauge public opinion by using a mathematical formula rather than canvassing opinion from across the nation. But then he stumbles across the perfect small town of Grandview who as a collective has statistically the same opinion as the entire country. In order to not sway their opinions Rip and his team head to Grandview to start gauging public opinion on the quiet. But there is a little fly in the ointment, Mary Peterman (Jane Wyman), a civil crusader whose desire to see the town grow could unsettle the balance of the town's opinions and also unsettle Rip's single life as he ends up romantically involved with her.

It is quite amusing to watch "Magic Town" now, in 2017, purely because of the inaccuracy of recent polls when it comes to Presidents and Brexit, it almost makes me think that maybe some bright writer could take the story in "Magic Town" and make a modern rom-com from it. But that sort of hints at how I feel about this 1940s comedy as whilst entertaining up to a point "Magic Town" isn't a great romantic comedy despite starring James Stewart and Jane Wyman.

The problem for me is that the rich humour which could be mined from a secret pollster is mostly ignored in favour of the romance and the humour of Rip falling for the determined Mary. And unfortunately this sort of comedy where the charm and humour of Rip wearing down Mary's resistance is all too typical and truth be told forgettable. On top of this for some reason James Stewart ends up forcing a lot of the humour with face pulling in what seems every single scene. It is possibly why when originally released it made a loss for RKO.

What this all boils down to is that "Magic Town" is the sort of movie which is okay for those who like these old romantic comedies or are fans of James Stewart and Jane Wyman. But for most others it is slightly under whelming due to the routine nature of the romance and humour and kind of reminds me of the sort of movies which are now made for the Hallmark Channel.