Good Sam

Director: Leo McCarey
Year Released: 1948
Rating: 3.0

Department store executive Sam Clayton (Gary Cooper) has, according to his wife Lucille (Ann Sheridan), "too much faith" in his fellow humans: he lets her brother Claude (Dick Ross) stay with them, he allows their neighbors to borrow (and total) their car, he takes in co-worker Shirley Mae (Joan Lorring) who's in a bad relationship with a married man, he loaned a couple money to start a gas station ... and it's all having a negative effect on his marriage.  The naysayers have a point - scenes do run on too long, it isn't as funny as it thinks it is, etc. - but it does provide interesting commentary on society in general, namely how people can be parasitic and think nothing of leeching off of others, believing they're suckers ... and Lucille's common sense statement about how some individuals simply don't deserve to be helped is pretty brazen for the late 1940's.  Of course, it ends with everything "working out for the best" - a drunk Clayton gets "led home" by the Salvation Army and they get the funds for their "dream house" - but the sentiment that "no good deed goes unpunished" does linger on: it's emotionally exhausting trying to be a Saint.