Marianne falls in love with con man Valentine who uses their relation to get her father's endorsement on a money-raising scheme. He runs off with the money and Marianne, later dumping her. ... See full summary »
Mississippi belle Isabelle and her hard-headed, quick-tempered Jersey fiancé Henry arrive at an Italian speakeasy in New York. They meet an amiable retired judge there, but Henry's back is up immediately anyway. Henry leaves as his car is parked illegally. Isabelle likes the opera, and it happens that her favourite singer, Di Ruvo, is a bar patron that evening. "Gus", as he prefers to be known, is very charming. Henry returns to find the pair dancing. A row ensues; Henry leaves. Isabelle accepts Gus's offer to retire to his apartment even though he warns her his intentions are "strictly dishonourable". But Henry has told Officer Mulligan that Isabelle has been "kidnapped by villains"... Written by
Natalie Moorhead (Lilli) and Joseph W. Girard (Officer) are in studio records for their roles, but never appear. Lilli is often on the phone but since her voice is never heard, she is omitted from the cast list. See more »
Amusing and sophisticated -- Preston Sturges' first big hit.
A near-verbatim filming of Preston Sturges' 1929 Broadway hit, this is a surprisingly assured and technically polished film for one made just a couple of years into the sound era. Paul Lukas is a perfect Gus, and Sidney Fox makes a wonderfully sexy southern minx. Lewis Stone's turn as a (somewhat) drunken Judge is particularly fun for those who know him mainly as that paragon of sobriety, Judge Hardy. Though it lacks the genius of Surges' self-directed screenplays, this one is charming and human, and a must for the serious Sturges fan -- though it's not easy to find (I saw a rare screening last fall at the L.A. County Museum of Art).
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