The play opened in London, England on 22 January 1930. It opened on Broadway in New York City, New York, USA on 1 November 1930 and had 98 performances, with Leslie Banks and Isabel Jeans as the leads. See more »
Anytime one sees P.G. Wodehouse's name in the opening credits as a contributing writer, one should know that one is in for a good time. When the star of the piece is the always charming Robert Montgomery, it's a dead cert.
It is a shame that so few Montgomery vehicles are available on VHS and especially on DVD. He always appears to be having the best time of anyone on screen. No one could convey quite so insouciant an air, or had quite so charming and boyish a smile. Montgomery uses both attributes to great effect in this film, in which he plays the disgraced son of a haute-bourgeois family who ends up, through a series of complex machinations, posing as the butler in the household of his estranged brother's fiancée (played to great effect by the very lovely Irene Purcell).
The supporting cast is stellar as well, with the acerbic Charlotte Greenwood as the fiancée's maid and partner in poverty (not the fiancée herself, as another reviewer has stated), the foppish Reginald Owen as Montgomery's brother and Purcell's fiancé, a wonderfully gruff C. Aubrey Smith as Montgomery's father, and the always entertaining Alan Mowbray as the smarmy Sir Charles.
The plot is lighter than air, and would float away completely were it not anchored by this very talented cast. The happy ending given to the two admitted bounders (Montgomery and Purcell) is one that could only have occurred before the enforcement of the Hays Code, when charm was considered more meritorious than virtue. Hear, hear!
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