SITTING PRETTY - Content
For Hicksflicks.com, June 7, 2013
Clifton Webb was a very popular character actor in the 1940s, specializing in playing elitist, superior and often hilarious snobs.
After acclaimed work on Broadway, Webb was in his mid-50s before he finally found his place in movies with his Oscar-nominated supporting performance in the great 1944 film noir drama "Laura," directed by Otto Preminger and starring Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Judith Andrews and Vincent Price.
After signing a contract at Twentieth Century Fox, Webb rode high for nearly two decades, enhancing his popularity with the 1946 version of "The Razor's Edge" (which earned him another supporting-Oscar nomination), the 1953 version of "Titanic," "Cheaper By the Dozen" (1950), "Three Coins in a Fountain" (1954), "Boy on a Dolphin" (1957) and many others.
Webb's third Oscar nomination, this time for best actor, came for his first lead role in the light domestic black-and-white comedy "Sitting Pretty" (1948), which was a box-office hit smash and led to two sequels, as well as the 1980s sitcom "Mr. Belvedere."
"Sitting Pretty," which has long been one of those movies people often ask about but which has never been on DVD, remains very funny today, despite some dated aspects — not the least of which is why a homemaker with three young boys needs a live-in baby-sitter.
But that's the plot here as a lawyer (Robert Young) and his happy homemaker wife (Maureen O'Hara) hire sight unseen the perfect baby-sitter, one Lynn Belvedere, who turns out to be a middle-aged genius claiming to "detest" children. And since he lives in their home, neighborhood gossip eventually rears its ugly head and before long it has put the lawyer's marriage and career in jeopardy.
The funniest sequences depict Webb's managment of the children, capped by a very famous sequence that has Belvedere attempting to feed cereal to an uncooperative baby in a high chair.
Fans will be happy to know that "Sitting Pretty" has finally found its way to DVD, thanks to the manufacture-on-demand label Fox Cinema Archives, and can be purchased online at Amazon and other sites in the $15 range.