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 »
Perhaps "Strictly Dishonorable" played well back in 1931, but today it's a very boring talk-fest--and about as enjoyable as having a migraine. If you do watch it, don't say I didn't warn you! The film begins with a dopey couple (he from New Jersey, she from Mississippi) who seem to have nothing in common. In fact, soon after they arrive, she starts flirting with a real Lothario (Paul Lukas) and he stomps off to sulk. In the meantime, an ex-judge (Lewis Stone) takes it on his own to try to save her from this playboy's advances, though she CLEARLY knows his intentions are strictly dishonorable.
This was originally a stage production written by Preston Sturges. However, despite him being a highly respected writer, here his work just seems VERY dated. It also looks just like a play put directly on the screen--with little action and LOTS of talk, talk, talk. In fact, it's such a talk-fest that I honestly have rarely ever felt this bored by a film. Occasionally hammy acting didn't help any. Overall, I can't even think of a reason to watch this film--it's bad but not in a funny or ridiculous way...it's just BAD!
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