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New York girl has a dull boyfriend and seems destined for a dull marriage when she meets a rich playboy who has money to burn and places to go. She gets involved with the playboy and never seems to notice that he might by shady, until he shoots her father in a cigar-store holdup! Written by
Alice White stars as Sheba Miller, a girl who wants more out of life than her soda-jerk boyfriend (William Bakewell) can give her. After winning a leg contest at a nightclub called The Pirate Den, she catches the eye of smooth talker Chester Morris, and she starts dating him. Bakewell hilariously comments that Morris dresses "like all his clothes fit him." Morris also flashes money and drives a snappy roadster. All these things are dear to White's heart. But then there is a neat plot twist that changes everything.
White is adorable and gets to sing "You Learn About Love Every Day." It's her only song but the nightclub acts sing a few more, including "You're My Captain Kidd" and "That's the Lowdown on the Lowdown." By 1930 audiences were tired of backstage musicals so filmmakers moved the numbers out front, which made them more realistic.
Morris and Bakewell are good, and then there's Marion Byron as the jazzy phone operator in the office where White works. White and Byron had also starred together in Broadway BABIES. Maurice Black is good as Joe the Bartender who gets suckered by Morris. Richard Carlyle plays White's father. And in a humorous tenement bit, Nellie Nichols and Ann Brody play a pair of immigrant gossipers who hang out their windows and exchange news in fractured English.
PLAYING AROUND was one of five films White starred in in 1930. In 1931, she had her final starring role in THE NAUGHTY FLIRT.
Worth a look for Alice White and some snappy pre-Code dialog.
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