17 user 5 critic

Reaching for the Moon (1930)

Unrated | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 21 February 1931 (USA)
Wall Street wizard, Larry Day, new to the ways of love, is coached by his valet. He follows Vivian Benton on an ocean liner, where cocktails, laced with a "love potion," work their magic. ... See full summary »



(based on a story: with music), | 1 more credit »

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Complete credited cast:
Vivien Benton
Roger - the Valet
Sir Horace Partington Chelmsford
Jimmy Carrington
Walter Walker ...
James Benton
Kitty - Aero Girl With Long Earrings
Larry's Secretary


Wall Street wizard, Larry Day, new to the ways of love, is coached by his valet. He follows Vivian Benton on an ocean liner, where cocktails, laced with a "love potion," work their magic. He then loses his fortune in the market crash and feels he has also lost his girl... Written by Herman Seifer <alagain@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


What excitement! What novelty! What modern day splendor. Fairbanks in a three-mile-a-minute comedy-drama.


Unrated | See all certifications »





Release Date:

21 February 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lucky Break  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(shortened) | (original release) | (Ontario)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?


Titles of the unused Irving Berlin songs are: "It's Yours"; "What a Lucky Break for Me"; "They're Going Down (Brokers' and Customers' Song)"--which was rewritten as "Wedding and Crash"; "If You Believe"--a revised version was sung by Johnnie Ray in There's No Business Like Show Business (1954); "The Little Things in Life"--provided hit records in early 1931 for Gus Arnheim and His Cocoanut Orchestra (vocal by Bing Crosby) on Victor, and Ted Wallace and His Campus Boys (vocal by Dick Dickson) on Columbia; "A Toast to Prohibition"; "You've Gotta Do Right by Me" and "(I Ask You) Is That Nice?" See more »


Larry Day: [Vivien has asked Larry for five minutes of his time] Sit down. I'll be with you in just a minute.
Vivien Benton: A minute? Well, that only leaves me four.
See more »


When the Folks High Up Do the Mean Low-Down
Written by Irving Berlin
Sung by Bing Crosby, Bebe Daniels, June MacCloy and chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

It could have been much better
25 December 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This movie was supposed to be a musical, but by 1930 audiences had tired of at least the "All Singing" part of "All Talking, All Singing, All Dancing" movies. Virtually everyone's first talking picture was a musical, and there just wasn't enough good music to go around. Theaters were even putting up signs in the cases of movies that sounded like they might be musicals with statements that read "This is not a musical" so as not to repel audiences. This situation lasted until 1933.

In this case, the movie probably would have been much better if it had gone through with the originally planned musical format. The introductory titles show that the music was written by Irving Berlin, and the cast even includes crooner Bing Crosby, who was so good in "The King of Jazz" that came out that same year. Instead, there is only one musical number two-thirds of the way into the film, and that is the only place we get to see or hear Bing Crosby. On top of that, Bebe Daniels, the lead actress, was a much better singer than she was an actress. Thus making this a romantic comedy of sorts really took away from all that she could have brought to the movie.

What you're left with is a little bit more than a shell of a movie. It seems like nobody bothered to fill in the blanks left by the depletion of the would-have-been musical numbers. I give this movie six stars instead of five mainly because of the historical value. Douglas Fairbanks would make only two more movies after this one. Someone else has already mentioned the factor his voice played in the end of his talkie career. It is worth mentioning that his voice isn't outright bad, but it just doesn't match the swashbuckling image he had developed during the silent era. It's a higher pitch than what you're expecting. It is great fun to see him doing some of his trademark acrobatic moves during the film, and it's hard to believe a man of almost 50 could still be so agile and have such a youthful and vigorous appearance. Particularly entertaining is Edward Everett Horton as the valet. He had a good career in silent films, but he would do even better as a character actor in the age of talking pictures where dialogue really allowed him to shine as a well-meaning if somewhat befuddled character in a myriad of films. Also, various sets in the film show off some fine and interesting examples of 1930 architecture, and it is interesting to see how the early stages of the depression were interpreted by people at the time. In 1930 the stock market sell-off is still portrayed as a "panic" and a temporary set-back that has merely bankrupted a few high-rolling financiers.

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