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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

The Medicine Man (1930)



Reviews and Comments

It's quite apparent that this film was made before Jack Benny established his comic persona: at one point, he says to the pretty young store clerk, "Don't worry about the expense."

But he does play a con artist, at least -- a travelling medicine salesman and ladies' man. Benny is entertaining enough, but the script is weak, and those looking for some of Benny's breezy comedy may be unpleasantly surprised: though there are comedic elements, most of this story is one of downright Dickensian cruelty. The mixture of tones is an uneasy one, and when it's all over, there's little sense that the movie has accomplished anything at all.