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The Hucksters (1947)

The Hucksters VHS

bullet Full Cast and Crew for The Hucksters (1947) bullet

bullet Directed by
Jack Conway

bullet Writing credits
Frederic Wakeman (novel)
Edward Chodorov and George Wells (adaptation)
Luther Davis (screenplay)

bullet Cast (in credits order)
Clark Gable .... Victor Albee Norman
Deborah Kerr .... Kay Dorrance
Sydney Greenstreet .... Evan Llewellyn Evans
Adolphe Menjou .... Mr. Kimberly
Ava Gardner .... Jean Ogilvie
Keenan Wynn .... Buddy Hare
Edward Arnold .... Dave Lash
Aubrey Mather .... Mr. Glass, Valet
Richard Gaines .... Cooke
Frank Albertson .... Max Herman
Douglas Fowley .... Georgie Gaver
Clinton Sundberg .... Michael Michaelson
Gloria Holden .... Mrs. Kimberly
Connie Gilchrist .... Betty
Kathryn Card .... Miss Regina Kennedy
Lillian Bronson .... Miss Hammer
Vera Marshe .... Gloria, West Coast Secretary
Ralph Bunker .... Allison
Virginia Dale .... Kimberly Receptionist
Jimmy Conlin .... Blake (hotel proprietor)

bullet Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Richard Abbott .... Elevator Starter (uncredited)
Charles Abraham .... Arabian Rug Peddler (uncredited)
John Albright .... Assistant Photographer (uncredited)
Sam Ash .... Man at Inn (uncredited)
Vangie Beilby .... Flower Woman (uncredited)
William 'Billy' Benedict .... Bellboy (uncredited)
Nan Bennett .... Girl at Inn (uncredited)
Hoffis Better .... Arabian Rug Peddler (uncredited)
Frank Bingman .... Radio Voice (uncredited)
Henry Blair .... Radio Voice (uncredited)
Harriett Brest .... Flower Woman (uncredited)
Betty Callender .... Stewardess (uncredited)
Harry Cheshire .... Joe Lorrison (uncredited)
Heinie Conklin .... Fish Peddler (uncredited)
Edwin Cooper .... Harry Spooner (uncredited)
John Daheim .... Taxi driver (uncredited)
Bert Davidson .... Man at Inn (uncredited)
Eugene Baxtor Day .... Hal Dorrance (uncredited)
Drew Demarest .... Man at Inn (uncredited)
Phil Dunham .... Man in Elevator (uncredited)
Madge Erwin .... Flower Woman (uncredited)
Nellie Farrell .... Flower Woman (uncredited)
Almeda Fowler .... Woman in Elevator (uncredited)
Dink Freeman .... Man at Inn (uncredited)
John George .... Arabian Rug Peddler (uncredited)
Mahlon Hamilton .... Businessman (uncredited)
John Hiestand .... Radio Announcer (uncredited)
Fred Howard .... Elevator Operator (uncredited)
Tiny Jones .... Flower Woman (uncredited)
Joseph Kearns .... Radio Voice (uncredited)
Eugene Lay .... Hal Dorrance (uncredited)
Frank Leigh .... Man in Kimberly's Office (uncredited)
Cathy Lewis .... Radio Voice (uncredited)
Sydney Logan .... Girl at Inn (uncredited)
Wilbur Mack .... Man at Inn (uncredited)
Frank Marlowe .... Second Taxi Driver (uncredited)
Eddie Marr .... Pitch Man (uncredited)
Vera Martin .... Girl at Inn (uncredited)
John McIntire .... Radio Announcer (uncredited)
David McKim .... Photographer's Assistant (uncredited)
Sammy McKim .... Western Union messenger (uncredited)
David Merritt .... Arabian Rug Peddler (uncredited)
Jerry Miley .... Second Taxi Driver (uncredited)
Byron Morgan .... Radio Soundman (uncredited)
Anne Nagel .... Teletype Operator (uncredited)
Robert Emmett O'Connor .... Doorman (uncredited)
George O'Hanlon .... Freddie Callahan (uncredited)
Charles Peck .... Elevator Operator (uncredited)
Dianne Perine .... Ellen Dorrance (uncredited)
Lillian Randolph .... Radio Voice (uncredited)
Jean Ransome .... Maid (uncredited)
Jack Rice .... Clerk (selling ties) (uncredited)
Gordon Richards .... Conrad, Kimberly Butler (uncredited)
Joe Sawaya .... Arabian Rug Peddler (uncredited)
Frank J. Scannell .... Circus Barker (uncredited)
Violet Seaton .... Flower Woman (uncredited)
Erin Selwyn .... Girl at Inn (uncredited)
Fred Sherman .... First Taxi Driver (uncredited)
Ransom M. Sherman .... George Rockton (uncredited)
Robert Skelton .... Man at Inn (uncredited)
Agnes Steele .... Flower Woman (uncredited)
Florence Stephens .... Secretary (uncredited)
Cedric Stevens .... Man in Kimberly's Office (uncredited)
Tom Stevenson .... Paul Evans (uncredited)
Mary Stuart .... Model in Elevator (uncredited)
Joan Valerie .... Receptionist (uncredited)
Theodore von Eltz .... Radio Voice (uncredited)
Barrett Whitelaw .... Man in Elevator (uncredited)
Marie Windsor .... Girl on train (uncredited)
Chief Yowlachie .... Indian (uncredited)

bullet Produced by
Arthur Hornblow, Jr. .... producer

bullet Original Music by
Lennie Hayton

bullet Cinematography by
Harold Rosson

bullet Film Editing by
Frank Sullivan

bullet Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons and Urie McCleary

bullet Set Decoration by
Edwin B. Willis

bullet Costume Design by
Irene (uncredited)

bullet Makeup Department
Jack Dawn .... makeup artist
Sydney Guilaroff .... hair stylist

bullet Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Sid Sidman .... assistant director

bullet Art Department
Jack D. Moore .... associate set decorator

bullet Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording director

bullet Special Effects by
A. Arnold Gillespie .... special effects
Warren Newcombe .... special effects

bullet Other crew
John Driscoll .... technical advisor
Eileen Wilson .... singing voice: Ava Gardner (uncredited)

bullet AMG Info for The Hucksters (1947) bullet

US (1947)- 115 min. - Feature, B&W

Plot Synopsis
When he was first offered the film version of the best-selling Frederick Wakeman novel The Hucksters, Clark Gable turned it down, characterizing the book as "filthy and not entertainment." He finally agreed to star in the film after screenwriter Luther Davis' extensive laundering job. Gable plays Vic Norman, a radio advertising executive just returned from World War II. His wartime experiences have soured him on the phony aspects of his profession; nonetheless, he takes a job with the biggest and phoniest agency in town, headed by the glad-handing Kimberly (Adolphe Menjou). At Kimberly's recommendation, Vic takes over the Beautee Soap account, which brings him in close quarter's with Beautee's boorish head man Evans (Sidney Greenstreet). At their first meeting, Evans unexpectedly spits on his highly polished conference table. "Gentlemen," he growls, summing up his philosophy on advertising, "You have just seen me do a disgusting thing. But you will always remember it!" (Evans was based on George Washington Hill, the colorfully crude president of the American Tobacco Company). Vic's first assignment for Evans is to round up 25 high society women to sign testimonials for Beautee Soap. The least cooperative of the bunch is young widow Mrs. Dorrance (Deborah Kerr, in her American film debut), the stepdaughter of an American war hero. Attracted to Vic, Mrs. Dorrance signs the agreement, but breaks off her personal relationship with Vic when it appears as though he's making unsolicited advances towards her. The ever-demanding Evans then insists that Vic sign up two-bit comedian Buddy Hare (Keenan Wynn) for a radio program. Becoming more and more corrupt with each passing day, Vic obtains Hare's service at a rock-bottom price by blackmailing the comedian's agent (Edward Arnold), Vic's onetime close friend. A demo record is made of Hare and of nightclub singer Jean Ogilvie (Ava Gardner), who is in love with Vic but who eventually gives him up because of his apparent lack of scruples. Returning to the Beautee Soap headquarters, Vic watches dumbstruck as Evans smashes the demo record--then laughs uproariously, telling Vic that the contract is his, along with a $25,000 bonus. By this time, Vic is so disgusted with himself and with Evans' childish baiting tactics that he tells off the soap mogul in no uncertain terms, ending his tirade by dousing Evans with a pitcher of water. Having regained his integrity, Vic is now worthy of the love of Mrs. Dorrance, who has forgiven him his earlier misdeeds. As the film ends, she encourages Vic to use his advertising talents for something clean and honest (and, undoubtedly, starve to death in the process!) To mollify Madison Avenue, screenwriter Davis narrowed the attack on advertisers to one single radio sponsor; to please Gable, Mrs. Dorrance was changed from a still-married woman to a widow, while Vic Norman is transformed from a "huckster" to an idealist who Does the Right Thing at the end. The Hucksters is one of Clark Gable's best postwar films, as well as one of the finest Hollywood satires of the rarefied world of advertising.

bullet Review for The Hucksters (1947) bullet

As Victor Norman, Clark Gable plays a returning World War II vet looking for a job with an advertising agency. He succeeds, landing a good position with a nice salary, but soon finds out that ethics and integrity are in short supply in the rarefied world of corporate advertising. With a big soap account on the brink of leaving the ad agency, things get a bit desperate as the agency struggles to hang onto the company's business. They round up a war widow for an endorsement, and their client is temporarily happy, but soon Gable finds the man to be a harsh and demanding taskmaster. This acerbic comedy may seem a little thin by today's standards, but some of the commentary on the gullibility of the American buying public is still pretty fresh half a century later. Sydney Greenstreet excels as the tyrannical, somewhat disgusting head of the soap firm, and Deborah Kerr makes her American screen debut as Gable's war-widow love interest.

bullet Leonard Maltin Review for The Hucksters (1947) bullet

US (1947): Drama
115 min, No rating, Black & White
Leonard Maltin Review: 3.0 stars out of 4

Glossy dig at advertising and radio industries, with Gable battling for integrity among yes-men. Greenstreet memorable as despotic head of soap company; Kerr's first American movie.

bullet Trivia for The Hucksters (1947) bullet

The novel upon which this film is based was itself inspired by a real-life exposť in "The Saturday Evening Post." The four-part article, entitled "The Star Spangled Octopus," was a look at how the talent and promotional agency MCA had managed to monopolize most areas of popular entertainment by the mid-1940s. In the novel, the character of Dave Lash is based directly on MCA founder and president Jules C. Stein and his right-hand-man is based on Lew Wasserman. The movie version retains these elements of the book's form but is otherwise fairly sanitized. The one exception: the exterior of the fictional agency Talent Ltd. is shown once during the movie -- and the building in the shot is unmistakably MCA's Beverly Hills headquarters.

bullet VHS Details bullet

The Hucksters (1947)

Product Details

Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, NTSC
Studio: MGM (Warner)
VHS Release Date: September 1, 1998
Run Time: 120 minutes

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The Hucksters Poster

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