review for Her Twelve Men on AllMovie

Her Twelve Men (1954)
by Craig Butler review

The very classy Greer Garson deserved a better parting vehicle for her last film under her MGM contract than Her Twelve Men, but at least her send-off was in glorious color. Men is certainly not a bad film, but it's a derivative, "been to the well a bit too often" picture that rarely surprises and lays on the sentiment a tad too thickly. Those who are merely in the mood for an undemanding, "sweet" film will certainly enjoy it, but it may get a tad sticky for those who want a little more meat to their drama. Things are not helped by Robert Z. Leonard's direction, which gives in to most temptations to indulge the sentiment; his work gets the picture where it's going, but it doesn't show us anything unexpected or particularly diverting along the way. Garson helps matters, of course, simply by her mere presence, and she makes the part come alive; even so, one still gets the sense that the actress wasn't fully involved in the character. Robert Ryan is quite good, obviously enjoying the chance to play a normal person, and Barry Sullivan has some good moments as his rival for Garson's affection. Richard Haydn is doing what he has done in many films, but Tim Considine is quite good as one of Garson's young charges. The production, including Joseph Ruttenberg's cinematography, is dependably impressive.