Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Miss Grant Takes Richmond (1949)


Miss Grant Takes Richmond is subtle comedy starring William Holden and Lucille Ball.    The film starts out with Ellen (Ball) at a secretarial school. She does not do too well but she wants to make her own living she does not want to live off of her aunt and uncle forever. They would rather see her married to the town’s DA named Ralph. The next day in her class, Dick Richmond (Holden) comes in to find a girl to hire for his business. Ellen flops but he picks her anyway.
            The following day Ellen reports for work at Richmond’s real estate office. A large group of people are surrounding a man behind a desk and telling him they all need houses. The guy gets them to go away by taking a phone call about an apartment complex. Dick’s partners Timothy and Kilcoyne are not happy about having Ellen in the office. The office is actually a front for a gambling ring they run. Dick tells them she is just there to listen to people talk and that she is not too bright anyway she will never know what is going on. He tells Ellen not to go into the “conference room” which is his booking room.
            All the people that had been in the office had been kicked out of their homes because the rent was too high. Ellen’s uncle is a judge and she goes to bring him his lunch one day. She tells him she thinks it is awful what is happening to the people who come into the office. She thinks Dick will take care of the problem.
            An ex-girlfriend of Dick’s named Peggy comes into the office. She thinks Dick is seeing Ellen. The ex-girlfriend wants Dick to come back to the gambling business with her but he tells her he likes being in a small town.
            Ellen brings Ralph around to Dick’s office to talk about a housing deal. Dick, Timothy, and Kilcoyne get nervous with the DA around. After they leave Dick comes up with an idea to just overwhelm Ellen with work that he knows she cannot handle. Eventually he gets her to go by kissing her. On the bus home Ellen sees some of the people who have come into the office for the housing on the bus. They tell her to go back and fight for them. She goes back and tells Dick she is fighting until the end for the housing and that if any of them try to hit on her she will have her uncle install a police officer at her desk.
            Peggy comes back to see Dick to place a large bet and leaves it with Ellen who does not get it to Dick until a half hour before the race. Now Timothy and Kilcoyne have to make their own race to unload a bet that Dick cannot handle. The horse that Peggy bet on won the race but they cannot pay her. She tells Dick to settle it by taking her out to dinner. He tells Ellen to make the reservations. That night Ellen has Ralph take her to the same place Dick had her make the reservations to. She goes up to Dick and tells him she has to deposit the money the people gave the company for their homes. Dick had planned to use that money to pay Peggy back.
            Dick winds up handing the development deal over to Ellen so that he, Timothy, and Kilcoyne can disappear. Ellen takes it over and the project does not go too well. It quickly runs out of money and it has to be shut down. Everyone, including Ellen, is mad at Dick.
            Peggy asks Dick to come back to the organization saying she will forget the fifty thousand from the race. Dick takes her up on the offer. He goes back to the business and to Ellen. They wind up bribing the foreman to come back to the job and do the materials and job cheaply. To get the workers to move faster he makes a bet with the workers to see who can finish the houses the quickest.
            At the office Ellen answers the phones in the conference room where she was not supposed to be while Dick is out. She finds out he is a bookie. She cannot report Dick to the police because her uncle is involved with his racket.
            Ellen with the help of her uncle and the police take down Peggy and get Dick out of the racket he got himself into.

            Miss Grant Takes Richmond was a cute film. For Lucille Ball this is the type of role I like seeing her in. She was funny but not outrageous like she was on I Love Lucy. William Holden was adorable. I like how Ball’s character flustered his character. Miss Grant Takes Richmond, as I said, was cute but it was not that great. I suggest watching it only if you are a fan of either William Holden or Lucille Ball.