|Index||5 reviews in total|
A moderately funny crime comedy I found pretty satisfying, mostly from seeing Ginger Rogers in such an early role. The stars, however, are Eddie Quillan and Robert Armstrong, both billed above the title, with Quillan playing a radio repairman and Armstrong playing a boxer with an upcoming middleweight championship fight. Seeing Eddie Quillan billed first surprised me, since I never knew he attained that measure of stardom. But he does have a good rapport with the camera and I enjoyed his performance. Although my focus was on Rogers, playing Armstrong's sweetie and a flirt, the film's focus was on Quillan. This performance provides the suspense and drama which is sustained nicely through the last half of the film. All in all, the movie is somewhat enjoyable.
This is a solid little gangster film with various ingredients you've
probably seen before, but it's still lots of fun, mainly because the
central player is not a gangster, but an accidental participant who is
leading an ordinary life until extraordinary circumstances cause him to
rise to the occasion.
Tommy Jordan (Eddie Quillan) is a radio repairman that gets a call to repair a radio owned by a boxer in hiding, Kayo McClure (Robert Armstrong). The boxer is hiding from gangster Nick Vatelli, who wants Kayo to fight for him, or else. The gangster and his henchmen burst in on Kayo while Tommy is in another room of the apartment. Seeing that there's about to be trouble, Tommy uses an old radio trick to make the gangster think he's surrounded by the police, and the gang leaves peaceably. This ingenious rescue makes Kayo instant friends with young Tommy, and Kayo promises Tommy a favor if he ever needs one. That favor is soon needed, because Tommy becomes friendly with a girl at a dance (Joan Peers) who turns out to be the object of gangster Vatelli's affection, although she does not return the sentiment. Now young Tommy has two black marks against him in Vatelli's book - making him look foolish at Kayo's apartment, and now going after someone he considers to be his girl.
This sounds like it could be heavy stuff, but by the placing of comic bits in the film at strategic points, and also due to the fact that actor Ralf Harolde's Nick Vatelli comes across as more of an angry little weasel than someone actually capable of James Cagney-style mayhem, there isn't an excess of tension in this one - it's more of a fun romp. Only when Vatelli has his muscle men to back him up does he seem the least bit threatening. The comedy is really helped along by a very young Ginger Rogers as Kayo's girl who looks gorgeous here and really has some great lines. Robert Armstrong was a versatile actor of the early talkie era, playing the kind of hard-boiled yet likable mugs in the early 1930's that make him very comparable to Wallace Beery. Armstrong and Rogers have great chemistry in this one as two people who really love each other and yet wouldn't know how to behave if they didn't have some kind of argument going.
If you like good little action/comedy/romance films from the precode era, this one is worth a look if you can deal with the fact that the vast majority of players in this one will likely be unfamiliar to you.
Ginger Rogers was quite young when she acted in this film, but she
already had two years of film experience under her belt. Here, she
plays Babyface, girlfriend of a boxer named Kayo (played by Robert
Armstrong) who is the extremely jealous type.
The film's protagonist is Tommy Jordan (Eddie Quillan), a likable guy who repairs radios for a living. Babyface seems interested in Tommy, but he wants to steer clear of her, fearing Kayo's wrath. Kayo actually takes him under his wing in a protective sense.
Tommy has the questionable luck to fall in love with Edna (Joan Peers) who is the reluctant object of Nick Vatalle's (Ralf Harolde) affection. Nick is a fight manager and all-around thug.
Near the end of the film, when you think they are going to lay a moral on you about the big city or crime and prohibition, everything turns out jake. But we kind of knew that, because this film is more comedy than crime.
This group of actors is fun to watch. Recommended viewing for fans of Ginger Rogers especially.
Radio repairman Tommy Jordan (Eddie Quillan) finds himself in all kinds
of hot water. First he saves dim-witted boxer Kayo (Robert Armstrong)
from gangster Nick Vatelli (Ralf Harolde), endearing him to Kayo but
making an enemy of Nick. He further enrages Nick when he moves in on
the gangster's girl (Joan Peers). Now Tommy's life is in danger and he
must turn to Kayo and his spunky girlfriend Baby Face (Ginger Rogers)
Nice little gangster comedy with a likable cast. Quillan's good but Armstrong and Rogers steal every scene they're in. The movie loses steam when they aren't around.
Radio repairman Eddie Quillan finds himself in the bedroom of
flirtatious 'Baby Face' (Ginger Rogers), the girl of quick-tempered
middleweight boxer Robert Armstrong. Trying to fend off the charms of
Baby Face, Quillan is soon in real trouble as he inadvertently steals
away the reluctant fiancée of a real mob boss, one Nick Vitelli.
Ironically, this comedy of errors proves completely unnecessary as we
learn that Baby Face and her boxing boyfriend really do love one
another in their bickering way while, with considerable less amusement,
Quillan and his new girl also discover true love.
The Tip-Off is a nice, unpretentious comedy that makes good use of the gangster film that had come into vogue in the early thirties. Eddie Quillen is the star and gives a fine performance as our innocent yet courageous hero. Robert Armstrong also plays his usual lovable lug well. This was Ginger Rogers' first Hollywood movie (she'd already made five in New York) and it's probably the first time we can see her as her recognizable self (also the first time she uses her true voice, having stuck to the 'Betty Boop' vocal style to this point). With a lot of funny lines impeccably delivered, she gave clear indication of the great things to come.
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