Tommy Taylor (Jeffrey Lynn) wants to be a songwriter. Until he finds his lyrical success, he’s making his living through associations with seedy characters like Chips Maguire (Humphrey Bogart), a gamblin’ gangster.
Tommy actually thinks Chips may be able to help him reach his musical goals, but no such luck. Chips uses a gun registered to Tommy to kill a man, and Tommy’s set up to take the fall for the crime if the two are caught.
Chips decides he wants to hide out, and he blackmails Tommy into bringing him to the boarding house owned by Tommy’s family.
Tommy’s mother, Nora (Jessie Busley) is elated to be reunited with her son, who has been away from home for five years. The boarding house is about to get very full, as co-owner Maggie Ryan (Una O’Connor) has a daughter named Sarah Jane (Ann Sheridan) who is also returning home. In addition to the families, quirky boarders include Miss Flint (Zasu Pitts), Mr. Salmon (Grant Mitchell), Mr. Van Diver (Brandon Tynan) and a magician who goes by “The Great Boldini” (Felix Bressart).
That’s all I’ll say in interest of not giving up the whole plot! It All Came True is a musical-comedy produced by Warner Bros. The film was directed by Lewis Seiler, adapted for the screen by Michael Fessier, Lawrence Kimble and an uncredited Delmer Daves from a play by Louis Bromfield.
I had a sneaking suspicion I’d enjoy this film when I saw the cast list: Bogie, Ann Sheridan, Una O’Connor and Zasu Pitts are few of my favorites. Add to that the fact that it’s a fun musical take on the usual Warner gangster story, and I was sold. Bless TiVo for recording this as a suggestion during a week when I was too busy to browse the TCM schedule myself. How is that my DVR knows me so well?
It All Came True starts out with a bit of a slow pace, but once Tommy and Chips show up at the boarding house things pick up quite a bit.
Bogie plays to type here, but his performance is wonderful as usual. There’s a reason he’s remembered as a legend — such magnetic screen presence!
The actor who really steals the show is Ann Sheridan. I love her performance in this film. She gives off such an air of confidence, and her character is very strong and outspoken. Sarah Jane’s actions drive a lot of the plot and Ann Sheridan fills the role perfectly.
The story is quite typical of a ’40s crime comedy. There are kooky characters, criminals on the lam, a sweet romance and lots of fast-talking. The typicality doesn’t ruin the fun, though, and the story does take a couple of slight unexpected turns.
I’m surprised I’d never heard of this film before it taped as a suggestion, given its wonderful cast. While it’s not a real stand-out classic it’s a really fun watch, and an underrated entry to the filmographies of Humphrey Bogart and Ann Sheridan. I enjoyed it a lot. The score: 4/5