One of the earliest of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. However, because of legal complications, this particular title was not included in the original television package and may have never been televised. See more »
Outstanding comedy that is an odd snapshot in time
This film features excellent production values, a brisk pace, and natural performances in this first full year of talking pictures that is a rare jewel. It's also something even more valuable - a talking picture featuring the attitudes and all the excesses of the roaring 20's just months before the stock market crash. Technically, it would have been impossible to make such a film just a year before. A year later, a film such as this one - a comedy about lying stockbrokers - would have seemed ridiculous and likely angered the suffering depression era audiences, and thus it would not have been made in the first place.
Richard Dix stars as stock broker Robert Bennett working in a brokerage firm where the boss, E. M. Burke, postulates that lying is a necessary part of their business. He has to lie to sell stocks, he says, as long as he believes in the long run the stock is a good investment he believes it's OK. Dix says that one should always tell the truth. Since Bennett is given to some lying himself ,the other brokers in the office and the boss bet 10,000 dollars against Bennett's 10,000 dollars that Bennett cannot tell the absolute truth for 24 hours. What the boss and the other brokers don't know is that Burke's daughter and Bob's fiancée Gwen has visited Bob just minutes before and said that she has raised 10,000 dollars for charity and needs to double it in five days because if she does her father has said he will match it - this is the 10K that Bob is betting. Apparently a total of 40K is needed for what her charitable group is trying to accomplish. Realize in 1929 40K is roughly equivalent to half a million dollars in 2010. So, without knowing it, Mr. Burke has much more on the line than ten thousand dollars.
What follows is a briskly paced comedy as the brokers and the boss won't let Bennett out of their sight until 4PM the next day when the bet expires, waiting for him to tell that one bet-ending lie. Side plots include two gold-digging chorus girls who meet Burke and the brokers in a speak-easy that night and are determined to hold Burke to his promise to finance their idea for a show. They're not taking no for an answer. They seem to hold all the cards as they have managed to enter Burke's home and refuse to leave without the cash. Burke could refuse them and have them thrown out, but then he'd have to explain to his wife how he knew these two buxom chorines and what they were doing in their home. Meanwhile, as a guest in his future in-laws' home, Bob is faced with the torment of listening to the terrible singing of a female guest whose choice of haberdashery looks like a milk pail with a bow on it. Of course he's asked to give his opinion on both her hat and her singing.
I'd recommend this one to anybody who likes a good comedy. You don't even have to be a precode or early talkie fan to enjoy this one. A tolerance for a modest dose of Helen Kane (she plays one of the gold-digging chorus girls) is really all that's required. Honest, I'm telling the truth here.
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