The Moviegoer

At the U.T.

IHOFA exhibits all the essentials of the standard Hollywood production line model--boy, girl, and rocky road to romance, satisfactorily traversed. But a well turned plot and some fine acting by Victor Moore distinguish it from the run of the mill and transform it into entertainment that will please even the cinematic gourmet.

Moore, as a philosophic and rotund bum, has evolved a unique solution for his personal housing problem. He has a luxurious summer home and an equally luxurious winter home--both belonging to an ulcerated millionaire. Moore, however, reversing the usual custom, resides in the tycoon's town house in New York during the winter, and moves to the Virginia estate of Mr. Moneybags when the latter gentleman comes north for the summer. Except for his kind heart, which causes him to take in an un-manageaable number of guests, and the loneliness of the millionaire's daughter, which takes her to the Fifth Avenue residence in mid-winter, the happy hobo could have continued indefinitely his surreptitous seasonal migrations.

But things get slightly out of hand when the master of the house, his divorced wife, and sundry assorted veterans, children, and cops move into the mansion. Up to a certain point the story seems fairly credible. But several scenes, particularly the one in which two patrolmen are so overcome by the beauty of a Christmas Eve gathering that they refrain from reporting the intruders, move the action into the realm of fantasy. By this lapse and by over emphasizing some rather obvious developments, IHOFA lessens its effectiveness. The use of phony emotionalism is unnecessary as the plot is a natural. Don DeFore and Gale Storm provide the young love ingredient. But the real weight of the picture rests with Moore and secondarily with Charlie Ruggles, the unwitting host. Ruggles, under the impression that his daughter is an unwed mother, unloads a stream of double entendres that provide the picture's only belly-laughs; and Moore, advising the world's second richest man on his love life, or strolling along majestically and merrily without a cent to his name, is simultaneously humorous, whimsical, and pathetic.