The One and Only

'The One and Only' is Andy Schmidt, a hopeful actor setting out in the '50s with a Texas-sized ego, a bottomless barrel of jokes, and a WASP wife called Mary Crawford, only to find himself in the wrestling branch of showbiz, his fighting persona variously a hypnotist, Adolf Hitler, and an outrageous gay. And Andy Schmidt is Henry Winkler, whose ingratiating style certainly helps to make this comedy flabby round the edges. However, Reiner obviously loves the subject, and his direction is pointed but unfussy, while Steve Gordon's script balances the soppy looks and exchanges with many lunacies and acid cracks, often aimed at Winkler's dwarf sidekick ('Why don't you take three months off and change a light bulb?'). If only the madcap strain had been strengthened, the film might have achieved more momentum; as it is, with good performances all round, it's pleasant but so-so.

Release details

Duration: 98 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Carl Reiner
Screenwriter: Steve Gordon
Cast: Henry Winkler
Kim Darby
Gene Saks
William Daniels
Harold Gould
Polly Holliday
Hervé Villechaise
Richard Karron
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