In this light romantic comedy, 17-year old Loretta Young is cast as Ann Harper, a wealthy socialite who has inherited a fortune provided the family is involved in no scandals appearing in ... See full summary »
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William A. Seiter
In this light romantic comedy, 17-year old Loretta Young is cast as Ann Harper, a wealthy socialite who has inherited a fortune provided the family is involved in no scandals appearing in print, and her two aunts and uncle consent to the marriage. Put off by all this, she is determined to cause a scandal so that none of the family will receive any of the inheritance. An arrow-straight Fairbanks is volunteered to be the one to "compromise" her, but the two end up falling for each other. Upon being discovered in Loretta's boudoir, Fairbanks makes a hasty exit out of the nearest window. The romance seems destined to fail, but Fairbanks (and his two friends) have other ideas, which are accidentally "aided" by the two prudish aunts. Written by
This film, based on a 1926 stage play, is extremely funny and fun to watch. It is also somewhat hard to find. I was fortunate to see it screened at Cinevent 39.
The story concerns a group of society people hearing a will read to them. The deceased's niece (Loretta Young) has most of the luck when an estate is left to her under the condition that she find a husband and no scandal be brought to the family. Everyone else's inheritance depends on this clause, but Ann (Young) doesn't want her share. In fact, she's determined to force everyone out of theirs because she thinks the family is too greedy. Off she goes to put an ad in the paper for a boy to "compromise her." Andy (Edward Nugent) finds it in the paper and thinks he'd be perfect for the role, but instead thinks maybe his room mate Gil (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.) would be better suited. In a very funny scene, Gil goes to Ann's home and is taken advantage of by the maid (Daphne Pollard).
Somehow, they all end up at a speakeasy where Ann's uptight aunts Katherine (Ethel Wales) and Sarah (Louise Fazenda) steal the show during a drunken spectacle where Andy tries to control his laughter.
This film is certainly a pre-code. Aside from outright illegal drunkenness, we see Andy taking a bath and women disrobing men, along with the generally racy storyline. Possibly the reason they got away with so much (besides being made during the pre-code era) is because this film is based on a play.
Thankfully, the camera-work does not make the film's roots evident. Of course, there are many shots that look like characters on a stage, but we also have a moving camera and many close-ups to take advantage of the beautiful stars. Young and Fairbanks struggle with their dialogue, but there are enough scenes with the character actors to make up for their scenes.
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