Haines plays the role of a festive British nobleman, for whom a marriage has been arranged by his relatives. He goes to a European Summer resort and poses as a gigolo to meet the girl ...
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Haines plays the role of a festive British nobleman, for whom a marriage has been arranged by his relatives. He goes to a European Summer resort and poses as a gigolo to meet the girl chosen, learn what she's like and to apply the "acid test". Written by
Richard Unger <DECOCHASER@aol.com>
The English adaptation of the play titled "Dancing Partner" was produced by David Belasco and opened in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in late July, 1930. It moved to New York City on 5 August 1930 at the Belasco Theatre, 111 W. 44th St. and ran for 119 performances until November. See more »
In most of William Haines' films, he plays a man with incredible natural talents--be it as a soldier, a football player, a polo player or whatnot. Here in "Just a Gigolo" his talent seems to be women...and Lord Robert Brummel (Haines) is mistaken for a common gigolo. Since this is a pre-code film, there is lots to suggest but little is stated outright. A 'gigolo' is described as a man who takes money to dance with women....though most adults in the audience know this is code for a male prostitute. And, in usual William Haines style, he lets the lady believe that he's just a gigolo!
Casting Haines as a British lord did seem odd considering he sounds 100% American here. A Ronald Colman-type would have been more believable but MGM put Haines in this for one huge reason...he was a huge box office draw at the time. So, as was often the case, the role was expected to fit the actor instead of the other way around.
Despite Haines being wrong for the part, I really liked this film because unlike his other very formulaic films, this one is a comedy- -especially when the girl his character is chasing realizes who he is and decides to turn the tables on him. Clever and quite enjoyable.
By the way, as for Haines he only made a small handful of films after this. With the new Production Code of 1934, gays were now supposed to be DEEPLY in the closet and the openly homosexual Haines chose instead to walk away from films...and became a very successful interior decorator to the stars.
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