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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>
William Haines in one of his more subtle comic performances
Normally, in his sound films, William Haines would be constantly chattering and go for the broad laughs with over the top often hammy humor. Here he plays it cool pretty much throughout. Haines plays the playboy nephew of Lord George Hampton (C. Aubrey Smith). Lord Hampton has had it with paying for his nephew Robert's scandalous and expensive ways and threatens to cut off his allowance and his inheritance unless he marries. He even names the girl - one from a wealthy family that has never met him and therefore doesn't know what he looks like. At first Robert says no - he's had too many married women to want to wind up playing the fool himself once he is married. Robert's experience has led him to believe all women cheat. Thus Robert makes a bargain with his uncle - if he can bed his wife-to-be in 30 days without her knowing who he actually is, he does not have to marry her. The uncle agrees and the fun begins. Of course the bet between Robert and his uncle isn't put quite as plainly as I put it. This may be the precode era but there were some things you couldn't just come out and say even then. Still this film is pretty sexually bold for its time and is cleverly done. Highly recommended for the precode fan.
One thing that puzzles me is whatever happened to Irene Purcell, who plays Robert's possible fiancée here? She's been just perfect in the MGM films I've seen her in - this one and "The Passionate Plumber". She was great at playing high society types in comedies, but it was just three films and then out for her over at MGM. She did three more films at smaller studios in much smaller parts and left the industry entirely in 1932. I wonder what happened?
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