It All Came True (1940)
A pair of well known faces circa 1940 turn up in this Mark Hellinger produced comedy/gangster effort filmed in traditional black and white for Jack Warner and Bros. Namely, the Oomph Girl, Ann Sheridan, and a man who was on the cusp of super stardom and who has remained an icon of movies and pop culture years after his death, the immortal Humphrey Bogart.
Let’s begin by pulling at the heartstrings just a might. A boarding house run by a couple of elderly old gals, the unmistakable Una O’Connor, along with Jessie Busley are behind on their taxes and the always evil bank is about to foreclose if the sum of $1100 and some odd dollars isn’t handed over within days. Now that we’ve got that major plot point established it’s time for the all around tough talking Miss Sheridan to make an appearance after kicking a would be stalker to the curb as she returns home to Mother Una.
Cut to Bogie the hood in a nightclub with Jeffrey Lynn playing piano. No need to explain to any of the viewing audience that Bogie’s a gangster. His reputation with movie goers precedes him so we shouldn’t be surprised that the coppers are raiding the joint. Bogie and Lynn crash out the back and just as he’s to make his getaway from whatever crime he’s wanted for, he spots the obvious stoolie in the alley behind the club. Their eyes meet and the Bogie we all know and love guns him down.
Bogie now needs a hideout and Lynn is the perfect fall guy. He’s just an innocent piano player looking to sell some songs who had taken a job in Bogie’s club. He wants out of the cab but Bogie has him under the gun. Literally. He had the gun he just used legally registered to Lynn which puts Lynn in a compromising position. Fortunately for Bogie, Lynn’s Mom is Una’s partner, Miss Busley. It’s off to the boarding house where Bogie can go under an assumed name and stay tucked away in his room bedridden from nervous exhaustion. At least that’s the cover story.
Could Sheridan and Lynn be old high school sweethearts reunited upon their return home?
Now it’s time for the comedy to kick in with Bogie playing straight man. Among the boarders are Felix Bressart as a wanna be magician with a dog who appears to be smarter than he is and Zasu Pitts as an aging spinster who is convinced most every man she passes on the street is following her home. Having his meals served in his room to stay out of sight, Bogie, gets put in his place by the unsuspecting O’Connor, “Don’t get tough with me young man.” she states as she pulls the cigar from his mouth and attempts to spoon feed him.
Sheridan wants to know just who the secretive guest is that doesn’t leave his room and she’ll stake out the community washroom in the dead of night. When she gets one look at Bogie she’ll confront him. Turns out she knows him well having been a showgirl. Bogie’s happy to see her and figures that she might be nice to have around. If you get my meaning….. Oomph! When cornered by her tough talking swagger it’s classic Bogie …. “Trouble’s one thing I can dish out when people ask for it and that goes for dames who see to much.”
Ann battles right back as one should expect putting the bite on Bogie for the $1100 to clear up the taxes if he intends to stay on at the boarding house. Better still she gets him to mingle with the others living in the home. It won’t be long before he comes up with a hair brained scheme of opening an intimate nightclub that the old gals can run featuring a floorshow with Ann as the star singing Lynn’s compositions. She’ll even squeeze in the old chestnut, When Irish Eyes Are Smiling. Yeah the plot goes off the rails down the stretch but one solid gag remains and that’s what happens when Zasu uncovers Bogie’s real identity as a gangster/killer.
Assigned to direct the film was Lewis Seiler who had previously worked with Bogie on gangster pics including Crime School and King of the Underworld. Beautiful Ann Sheridan who was just 25 years old at the time of this release had also teamed with Bogie on a number of titles. Among them, Black Legion, San Quentin, Angels With Dirty Faces and They Drive By Night. It’s rather unfortunate that the pair were never teamed once Bogie attained his license as a bona fide leading man following his run of classics including The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca.
Harmless fun, It All Came True is available via the Warner Archive Collection and if you’ll notice during the opening credits, Bogie, is billed first above Sheridan and the title. I’ll assume this is from a rerelease print after his rise to the top of his field. He’s billed third in the closing credits and on all the original posters at the time of the film’s release.
If you love Bogie and buy into the Bogart myth, then this makes for an enjoyable outing when he’s on screen with Sheridan as an added bonus of Oomph proportions.