© 1951 Wald/Krasna Productions

Behave Yourself (1951)

Farley Granger and Shelly Winters both made fairly heavy movies in 1950. Granger was in Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train, and Winters played the murdered girlfriend in A Place in the Sun. I guess the two needed a bit of a breather the following year, and that is why they agreed to star in the bit of light comedic fluff. The story centers on a cute little dog who is shipped to a railway station in Los Angeles, and has been trained by a gang of counterfeiters to lead their contact to where the phony loot is stashed away. The dog gets away from the crooks, and starts following around Granger’s character, a guy who has forgotten his second wedding anniversary. When he goes to buy a nightgown for his wife, and the dog follows him into the shop and breaks a display case. He has to pay for the case, and goes home empty-handed, with the dog still following him. His wife (Winters) mistakes the dog for present and is thrilled to keep it. Of course, the crooks want the dog back, and things become pretty predictable. At home, Granger’s character is constantly antagonized by mother-in-law. Granger is OK in the film, but perhaps a bumbling hen-pecked husband who acts like Shelly Winters is the sexiest woman in the world is not really the best role for him.

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“Let me tell you I am not a father figure. I am not a brother figure or an uncle figure or a cousin figure. In fact, the only figure I intend being is a total stranger figure.”
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from Father Goose