Directed by Walter Lang. US. 1948. NR. 1 hour 23 minutes. Fox. 35mm.
Sun., December 3, 2017
Clifton Webb, master of waspish prissiness and aristocratic disdain, was nominated for a well-deserved Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of self-proclaimed genius Mr. Belvedere in this surprise hit comedy of 1948. It seems that busy parents Robert Young and Maureen O’Hara are raising three bratty boys and, in desperation, have hired this middle-aged gentleman as a most-unlikely babysitter, after having worn out several previous candidates. Not only does he prove to be exceptionally efficient and effective, Mr. Belvedere also causes quite a stir among the small-minded, small-town neighbors. This delightful light-hearted comedy was so popular that it spawned two (less successful) sequels featuring Webb as Mr. Belvedere, as well as a long-running 1980s TV show named after the title character. (The scene featuring 1) Webb, 2) an obnoxious baby, and 3) a bowl of oatmeal is, in itself, worth the price of admission.)