The delightful Winnie Lightner stars in this comedy-drama as Pat, a traveling carnival troupe member who does everything from high diving to hula dancing, with time left over to romance ... See full summary »
Roy Del Ruth
Jimmy Durante is jungle star Schnarzan the Conqueror, but the public is tiring of his fake lions. So when Baron Munchausen comes to town with real man-eating lions, Durante throws a big ... See full summary »
Racketeer Tony Gazotti is thankful that lawyer Jackson Durant helps him beat a murder rap, but Durant just does it for the thrill of it and refuses payment. Durant's defense of mobsters ... See full summary »
W.S. Van Dyke
A power-broker ward-heeler, Bill Grimes, wields more power than the elected politicians and has no problem in getting matters-of-the-city handled in which ever way is best for his needs. ... See full summary »
The police lieutenant Steve Abbott is engrossed in a baffling murder case. As Steve pieces the clues together, he comes to the sobering conclusion that his own wife Ethel Abbott may be ... See full summary »
The John Roberts Costume Company is being run super-efficiently by Doris Roberts, but her husband demands that she give up her position to stay at home with their young son. Without her wheeling and dealing skills the company starts to lose money and when John leaves for Europe on a tryst, Doris returns to save the firm. Hooking up with an obviously disturbed producer and a pair of theatrical backers, the costume company seems to be on the road to riches again when John returns and wants his share of the profits. Written by
Ron Kerrigan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I'm sure that some who see this movie will be very unimpressed and a bit put off by its style, but I had a great time watching the film even though it could never be mixed up for Shakespeare due to its decidedly low-brow approach. While the film is essentially a drama about a company that provides costumes for Broadway productions, there is a lot of far from subtle comedy that made me laugh in spite of its very modest pretensions. Many of the laughs came from the legendary Vaudeville team "Smith and Dale"--who were reportedly the inspiration for Neil Simon's THE SUNSHINE BOYS. There jokes are corny and pure "Borscht Belt" (i.e., very stereotypically Jewish) but I liked their act--though I am sure many might find them annoying or very old fashioned. I think the reason I like them so much is that although they had a very long career together, they did almost no films. This and the great short WHAT PRICE PANTS? are two wonderful examples of their comedy--and I am a huge fan of early comedy (silent and sound). However, if you aren't a fan, I could see that you might just find the act bizarre.
The other funny act in the film was Bobby Watson in the role of "Paisley". His was perhaps the most stereotypically gay performance in films during the Pre-Code era--so named because a loose and unformalized Production Code often meant that taboo topics such as adultery and homosexuality were included in films. His gay designer "schtick" was great and very funny, though I am sure some might find his mincing manner offensive. Considering the time and context, to me it didn't seem offensive--just a time capsule of the era and its attitudes. Incidentally, because of Watson's performance, this film was spotlighted by Turner Classic Movies for their salute to homosexual images in film.
As far as the plot goes, it wasn't all that subtle or believable, but it was fun--though a tad over the top and silly. Once again, it was not great art but due to a lot of energy by everyone concerned the film is likable and nearly earns a 7--especially if you (like me) are a huge fan of Pre-Code Hollywood. The Watson performance plus a plot involving adultery make this a film you could not have seen post-1934 due to the restrictiveness of the code. An excellent historical curio.
11 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?