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Jack's father is sending Jack away to keep him from the gambling, booze, girls and late nights. He has Ossie go as Jack's companion, not knowing that Ossie does the same things as Jack. They decide to go to California and the trip is long as Jack stops for every girl he sees. In a restaurant in the southwest, they meet Poncho. It seems that every time Ossie sees Pancho, he does something that almost gets him into a fight. When they get to Pasadena, the boys meet Connie and Penny and Aunt Polly. After a few days, Jack proposes and Connie accepts. However, that is that day that Mabel, Jacks jilted fiancée from New York, shows up. Written by
Tony Fontana <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Harry Ruby and Bert Kalmar, who would work on three Marx Bros. films, including "Animal Crackers" the play of which was out the year before this film, are the authors of 'Broadminded'.
It's clear to me that this film is the Warner Bros. idea of how to cash in with a cheapie madcap story.
Thelma Todd is as wonderful as ever. She was a fine actress who always managed to do a fine job even with the sorriest material.
Grayce Hampton who played what should have been Margaret Dumont's role is flat and unfunny. The male lead, played by William Collier Jr., looks like a peeled potato, and yet he's a lady killer. He picks up every good looking woman he sees. But he's lumpy and wimpish. He's a very poor choice for the role. I think he's supposed to be Zeppo Marx playing the love interest, but he's not even that good.
Ona Munson is pretty good as the female lead, but she's not given anything to do.
Joe E. Brown who is the putative star does what he does. He mugs unmercifully throughout, and he makes the most out of his circus clown mouth, and he makes a tremendous number of unwarranted sounds. I grew up in the last years of his really active career, and I thought he was great until I was about seven, when that wore off, and from then on I found him to be darn near intolerable.
But even if were someone else playing the part, it would still be a (in my opinion of course) dull and completely predictable film.
There is absolutely zero witty repartee in this film. There's no singing, no dancing, no harp or piano or guitar playing.
Bela Lugosi does steal the greasepaint mustache that Groucho put on, but now it's in the form of extenders for Lugosi's sideburns.
Lugosi pretty much mugs his way through this film along with the rest, but he looks as though he's playing along because he's being paid. And he's never convincing. He's always Bela Lugosi gone slumming. Not that he was bad, but I'd say that he was skirting it.
I'm glad I had a chance to see this film, I've been hungering for it for several decades now, and it's often presented in movie books as practically a tour de force performance for him.
I did not keep a copy of the film, although I've got many Lugosi films in my library. I just don't think I'll ever want to sit through it again. As it was, it took me two days to get through it.
I gave it a five rating because my tastes aren't universal, and Lugosi and Todd fans should certainly see it.
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