4.5 - absolutely wonderful. Sturges really brings home the idea that money often influences our ideas of respect and prestige with whom we are not well acquainted. The camera nearly constantly keeping Jimmy and Ellen together throughout their story works to illustrate that regardless of social standing or societal value, people can exist and strive outside these ideas.
A sustained two-shot of Powell & Drew next to a radio discussing money, disillusionment, the limitations of romance within the context of the here & now, body postures conveying yearning & distance simultaneously, & all of this punctuated by the rhythm of Sturges' dialogue: I immediately knew this would be special, the director's finest film. Ideas alone rarely matter as money & social status overwhelm everything.
Mostly classic good fun with great dialog, a humble protagonist, and characters that would be called 'quirky' if released today. The first act drags, however, and in some places the rough editing and rambling speeches indicate that not all oldies are goodies.--PolarisDiB