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This charming family film, based on the childhood remembrances of silent film actress Corrine Griffith, stars Gleason as Jack Griffith, a fun-loving railroad supervisor and family man. Jack s delicate condition referred to in the title is the state of intoxication; and when the old boy is in his cups, he concocts outrageous ideas, including buying a drug store in order to obtain a key to the liquor cabinet. Jack s love of the bottle is only rivaled by his devotion to his youngest daughter, Corrie (Linda Bruhl), who shares his strong will and love of Dixieland jazz. Unfortunately, Jack and Corrie s shenanigans often run counter to the wishes of Jack s socially-conscious wife (Glynis Johns).
Gleason is the whole show in Papa s Delicate Condition, but his outsized personality carries the film effortlessly. Of course the role was no great stretch. Gleason was well-known as a free-spending, jazz-loving drunk in real life. The part also contained an added comfort level in that it included aspects of two of the Great One s most popular TV characters--the grandiose scheming and marital strife of Ralph Kramden combined with the boozing and bombast of Reginald Van Gleason III. Surprisingly, although the role appeared to be tailor made for the Great One, Gleason only procured the part when Fred Astaire became unavailable.
As for the merits of the movie, it is a pleasant enough, nostalgic, family comedy--somewhat similar to the type of Disney films that Hayley Mills starred in during the Sixties. It also has the feel of a musical with very little music (Gleason does get to belt Won t You Come Home Bill Bailey and drunkenly slur the Oscar-winning song Call Me Irresponsible ). However mild the script, Jackie Gleason s charismatic performance elevates this flick to a soused cinema must see. --Garv of BoozeMovies.com
very good movie with Jackie gleason as the father and it is good for the whole familyPublished 24 days ago by joy becker
So enjoyed this, had been searching for years to see this wonderful movie I'd remembered as a child...it lived up to the movie I had kept in my childhood fav vault!Published 2 months ago by Debbie Ann Herby
Loved this movie I saw with my mom decades ago. Gleason at his best. Lots of laughs and family situations we all find ourselves in at one time or another.Published 2 months ago by Linda Early Kearney
I loved this as a kid and still love this movie timeless fun for generations to come.Published 3 months ago by james booth jr
Excellent movie - set in a simpler time in history. Excellent family picture - showing how families were in that simpler time of history.Published 4 months ago by jeannie