Susan Slept Here (1954)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Romantic Comedy  |   Release Date - Jul 14, 1954 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 98 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Dick Powell's last feature film, Susan Slept Here is moderately enjoyable, although modern audiences may feel some discomfort over the May-December romance that forms the core of the plot. There's nothing wrong with using an older man-younger woman relationship as the basis of a comedy, of course, but it has to be handled either more tactfully or more audaciously than it is here. Director Frank Tashlin is somewhat off his form here; although there are moments that are marked with his trademark abandon, too much of the film feels restrained. Part of this is due to Powell, playing a straight man part and not investing much effort into it. Tashlin is also hemmed in by the screenplay, which is not inventive enough. However, he is enormously helped by Debbie Reynolds, whose performance is so perky and energetic that the screen has a hard time holding her. Anne Francis is also an asset, bringing depth to what could have been a cardboard cutout character, and Glenda Farrell brings expert timing and comic delivery to her role. Susan is not really a good movie, but it's also too silly and sweet to dislike.