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Be Yourself! (1930)

5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 107 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 1 critic

Ethnic comedy of a nightclub entertainer trying to train a boxer.

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(adapted by), (adapted by), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Fannie Field (as Fannie Brice)
Robert Armstrong ...
Jerry Moore
Harry Green ...
Harry Field
...
McCloskey
Gertrude Astor ...
Lillian
Budd Fine ...
Step
Marjorie Kane ...
Lola (as Marjorie 'Babe' Kane)
Rita Flynn ...
Jessica
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Storyline

In the nightclub where entertainer Fannie Field sings, two rivals for her favors, Jerry Moore and Mac McCloskey, come to blows before either realizes the other is a boxer. Jerry loses the fight but wins Fannie, who becomes his trainer with the aid of her schlemiel brother. Aside from a slight tendency to lie down in the ring, Jerry is successful. But success brings the inevitable blonde; does this mean heartbreak for Fannie? Features the star's inimitable ethnic humor. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

boxing

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 February 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Astúcia Feminina  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original)

Sound Mix:

(Movietone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Jerry Moore: You're a funny girl, Fannie.
Fannie Field: I gotta be. That's how I make my livin'.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Broadway: The American Musical (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

It's Gorgeous to Be Graceful
(1930) (uncredited)
Written by Billy Rose
Sung by Fanny Brice with ballet parody
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The best early talkie you may never have heard of
9 May 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I was curious about Fanny Brice in her younger years, and this is the only commercially available film that stars her of which I am aware. The plot is thin and preposterous, but that's not the point. The point is viewing Fanny's comedy and musical talents and some unusual production numbers as well as the great art deco style of the nightclub in which she works.

Fanny plays a nightclub performer who has financed her younger brother's law school and also set him up in business for himself. He has quite the memory for individual laws, but is a little too ambitious at chasing ambulances only about ten years after ambulances have been around. Enter down-on-his-luck boxer Jerry Moore (Robert Armstrong), who frequents the club where Fanny works. He gets mad one night at a fellow patron, boxing champ Mac, who has been mouthing off to him, and Jerry knocks him out after only a few punches. This gives Fanny and her brother the idea that maybe all that Jerry needs is a good manager to organize his career, and they decide to take on the job. After Fanny invests in a bunch of training equipment for Jerry she learns that he's only fought four times and he's only won once, and that was a technical decision. She doesn't quite have on her hands the diamond in the rough that she thought she had. Will Fanny get Jerry to stop lying down every time after he is punched the first time? Is a lasting romance in the cards for the two? Can Fanny get her brother to stop suing people? Watch and find out.

As for the songs - "Cookin Breakfast for the One I Love" is very cute and is probably the only time you'll ever see Robert Armstrong in a duet with anybody, the production number "Kicking a Hole in the Sky" has Fanny and chorus dueling with the devil, and "When a Woman Loves a Man" has a torch song quality to it. The five numbers included here really showed Brice's musical range.

There's also some cute comedy bits involving the other girls that work in the club. One mentions that she told her boyfriend that if he didn't marry her she'd kill herself. While she's getting ready for the next act a package arrives from him. Expecting an engagement ring she instead receives a gun.

I would recommend it to anybody who likes the early talkies.


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