Successful songwriter falls for society girl who is just playing around. He doesn't realize that his girl-Friday is the one he really loves until it is almost too late. Although he is ...
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Successful songwriter falls for society girl who is just playing around. He doesn't realize that his girl-Friday is the one he really loves until it is almost too late. Although he is dazzled by high society, he overhears the society girl's admission of just fooling in time to avoid marriage. Played against a theatrical backdrop, there are lots of songs and production numbers. Written by
"Children of Pleasure" is a 1930 curio turning up on TCM. The film is a very minor early MGM musical you can label low budget B picture. However, any MGM B looks first class compared to Poverty Row cheapies. "Children of Pleasure" arrived during the first wave of sound musicals and isn't as stodgy and crude as other musicals of the time period. In fact, there's a slight hint of how musicals would evolve in a few years hence under Busby Berkeley.
The film is pre-code but the only risqué thing is the title. Story is simple and basic. Songs are forgettable. The actors are long forgotten names never achieving any kind of notable stardom. Songwriters and choreographer don't ring a bell. Director Harry Beaumont was a prominent name in silents and directed MGM's first sound musical "The Broadway Melody" (1929) winning a Best Picture Oscar.
Danny (Lawrence Gray) is a hot shot songwriter. Partner Emma (Wynne Gibson) loves Danny who only has eyes for spoiled heiress Pat (Helen Johnson). Will Danny end up with Pat or Emma? That's a pretty thin storyline serving as framework for several production numbers, Gray at the piano singing songs and Jewish schtick by comedian Benny Rubin.
There are delights to be found in "Children of Pleasure." Yes, that's a not yet really famous Jack Benny in a cameo. Also Cliff "Ukulele Ike" Edwards. The music has the real deal syncopation bounce never successfully imitated in later films set in this era. Some nice chorus girl line tapping. The politically correct police will demand the film be destroyed for its black face line of tappers.
The pleasure in viewing even a film this obscure lies in details. The sleek women with marcelled hair wearing great fashion. Gibson wears a dress that flows with her movement during her number. Set decoration is littered with art deco design showing on chairs and piano and distinct art deco objects.
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