Mr. Lucky (1943) Cary Grant, Laraine Day, Charles Bickford, Gladys Cooper Movie Review

Mr. Lucky (1943)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Cary Grant and Laraine Day in Mr. Lucky (1943)

Cary Grant's Lucky Day

Joe Adams (Cary Grant) and Zepp (Paul Stewart) have plans to start a floating gambling business except they both get their draft cards through putting a kibosh on their plans. That is until Joe decides to switch places with the recently deceased Joe Bascopolous who wasn't drafted and sets about raising the money he needs to put the wheels in motion on the gambling business. That leads him to the pretty Dorothy Bryant (Laraine Day) who helps run the War Relief effort and who takes a shine to the charming Joe as he entertains her with Australian rhyming slang. But Joe finds himself torn because whilst he plans to scam her and the war effort at a charity effort his growing feelings for her complicate matters.

In truth "Mr. Lucky" is a movie which works because of Cary Grant and the energy, comedy and charm which he brings to the role of Joe and without Grant "Mr. Lucky" would have struggled. That isn't a criticism of the story or anything else because it all works but the whole set up of a conman falling for the woman he is planning to con is not the most original of ideas and for the most it plays out exactly as expected with Joe charming Dorothy till she falls for him and he realises he's fallen in love with her too.

Alan Carney and Cary Grant in Mr. Lucky (1943)

Having said that "Mr Lucky" does take a surprising detour during the final 15 minutes because for the first 85 we have lots of romantic comedy from Joe's gaudy ties, his learning to knit and the Australian rhyming slang which I still don't get why they went for Australian. But then after all this lightweight fun the storyline turns more dramatic as things come to ahead, there is action, some shooting and even a woman being knocked out which is hugely different in tone. And the movie then comes full circle because it opens up with some dramatically framed scenes of Dorothy waiting at the harbour for a boat to arrive and we have the conclusion to this at the end, a very melodramatic end.

Now I have already mentioned Cary Grant and I will say again it is Grant's charm, charisma and comedy which makes "Mr Lucky" so much fun but he is well supported. Laraine Day as Dorothy is just wonderful, it may feel like she has been cast because she is stunning looking but her playful resistance to Grant's charms and her forcing him to learn to knit is so much fun. So is Alan Carney as Joe's heavy, Crunk, with a scene featuring Crunk at the blood bank both simple and simply enjoyable.

What this all boils down to is that "Mr. Lucky" is a fun little romantic comedy from the 1940s which owes a lot to Cary Grant for making it work. But it is fun, it will make you smile and whilst the melodramatic ending jars with the romantic comedy it is still a good ending.