Great Rupert, The

1742. THE GREAT RUPERT (1950-USA). WITH jimmy durante, terry moore, tom drake, FRANK ORTH, SARA HADEN, QUEENIE SMITH, CHICK CHANDLER, JIMMY CONLIN. Directed by IRVING PICHEL. Produced by GEORGE PAL. No, this movie is not named for an action a vaudeville bill. It’s a good-natured, tug-at-your-heartstrings comedy, with the inimitable Jimmy Durante at his very best. He’s cast as an indigent vaudevillian whose station in life is abruptly altered when he comes into some unexpected wealth by way Of the antics Of a cute, mischievous trained squirrel named Rupert. The Schnoz’s personality and charm shine through as he sings, mugs, rattles Off cornball jokes and butchers the English language. He’s surrounded by a top-notch cast, with Queenie Smith and Jimmy Conlin doing especially well as, respectively, his wife and Rupert’s trainer. Terry Moore (as Durante and Smith’s daughter) and Tom Drake (as a penniless songwriter) are attractive as the love interest, and it’s fun to watch the adorable Rupert (who’s part-real squirrel, and part-animated). Nevertheless, it’s Durante’s show as he frolics about and displays the talents that made him one Of America’s most beloved entertainers. 87 minutes. Comedy