Small-town department store manager Sam Clayton (Gary Cooper) is a born "Good Samaritan", which in his case translates as "sucker." Much to the dismay of his wife Lu (Anne Sheridan), who'd like to save up enough cash for a new house, Sam habitually gives his money away to one "deserving" soul or other. But when Sam himself is in dire financial difficulty, none of the people to whom he's extended his generosity come to his aid. Disillusioned, he goes on a bender and disappears into the night. Thanks to Lu's not-so-gentle remonstrations, however, Sam's debtors finally own up to their obligations, and a happy ending is had by all. Producer/director Leo McCarey has a good thing going in the first few reels of Good Sam, but eventually loses control of the film, resulting in a great deal of illogical plot twists and character transformations in the final footage. Still, it's interesting to watch Gary Cooper doing what amounts to an imitation of Jimmy Stewart. Originally released a 128 minutes, Good Sam was pared down to 114 minutes for reissue.
by Hal Erickson synopsis