Gold-diggers Kay Francis and Lilyan Tashman meet susceptible lonely businessmen at conventions in this ribald preproduction code story. The millionaires lavish the girls with expensive gifts. Francis falls for poor but virtuous Joel McCrea. Eugene Paulette is a copper king who gives Tashman jewelry. His wife reacts not with jealously but by trying to imitate her rival's style. Written by
"Girls About Town" from 1931 is a pre-code starring Kay Francis, Lilyan Tashman, Joel McCrea, and Eugene Palette.
Pre-codes are fun because you don't know how they're going to end - once the code came in, if you were a woman and committed adultery, you died; if you were a tramp, you died. If you had a career, you gave it up because your life was empty without a man.
In this film, Francis and Tashman are Wanda and Marie who make their living as escorts for rich men. So they spend their time on yachts, they wear furs and jewels, and we assume they sleep with these guys. That's implied but when the men want to go up to the girls' apartment, their maid (Louise Beavers) sits in the window so the girls can say, "That's mother. She's waited up for me. You'd better not come up" or words to that effect.
The women are paired with the very wealthy Benjamin (Palette) and the young, handsome assistant (McCrea). Wanda is very attracted to Jim (McCrea) but stuck with Benjamin; Tashman finds Jim a miserable bore. So they switch, and Jim and Wanda fall in love.
Benji meanwhile, for all his big bucks, turns out to be a tightwad. Later Tashman enlists some help to get him to part with what's in his wallet.
Fast-moving film with delightful acting, particularly from Tashman, who is a riot. Gorgeous clothes, too. Louise Beavers has a great turn as the maid - she's devoted to the two women and has no problem telling Wanda off. But when there's a guest in the house she acts like a real subservient maid. Very funny.
Highly recommended. A lively movie.
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