Blessed Event (1932)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 342 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 9 critic

Al Roberts writes a gossip column for the Daily Express. He will write about anyone and everyone as long as he gets the credit. He gets into a little difficulty with a hood named Goebel who... See full summary »



(screen play) (as Howard Green) , (based on the play: "Blessed Event" by), 1 more credit »
0Check in
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Bombshell (1933)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Sexpot film star Lola Burns seeks a new image and tries marrying a marquis, adopting a baby -- all sorts of schemes which go awry.

Director: Victor Fleming
Stars: Jean Harlow, Lee Tracy, Frank Morgan
Lady Killer (1933)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A former gangster makes it big in Hollywood, but his old life catches up with him.

Director: Roy Del Ruth
Stars: James Cagney, Mae Clarke, Margaret Lindsay
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When Prohibition ends, a beer baron sees the writing on the wall, quits the rackets, and tries to break into California society.

Director: Roy Del Ruth
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Mary Astor, Helen Vinson
Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A New York City detective, traveling by train between New York and Baltimore, tries to foil an on-board plot to assassinate President-elect Abraham Lincoln before he reaches Baltimore to give a major pre-Inauguration speech in 1861.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Dick Powell, Paula Raymond, Adolphe Menjou
Jewel Robbery (1932)
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A gentleman thief charms a Viennese baron's wife and also conducts a daring daylight robbery of a jewellers.

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: William Powell, Kay Francis, Helen Vinson
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The City Editor of a sleazy tabloid goes against his own journalistic ethics to resurrect a twenty year old murder case... with tragic results.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Marian Marsh, H.B. Warner
Night Nurse (1931)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A nurse enlists the help of a petty criminal to foil a sinister plot to murder two children.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Ben Lyon, Joan Blondell
The Big House (1930)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A convict falls in love with his new cellmate's sister, only to become embroiled in a planned break-out which is certain to have lethal consequences.

Directors: George W. Hill, Ward Wing
Stars: Chester Morris, Wallace Beery, Lewis Stone
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Although Vivian Revere is seemingly the most successful of a trio of reunited schoolmates, she throws it away by descending into a life of debauchery and drugs.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Virginia Davis, Joan Blondell, Anne Shirley
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Cassie has come to New York and goes to work as a model where her friend Gladys works. She falls in love with wealthy young Jerry who is already married. Gladys has the same probelm with ... See full summary »

Director: William Beaudine
Stars: Jean Harlow, Mae Clarke, Walter Byron
Ex-Lady (1933)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Although free spirit Helen Bauer does not believe in marriage, she consents to marry Don, but his infidelities cause her to also take on a lover.

Director: Robert Florey
Stars: Bette Davis, Gene Raymond, Frank McHugh
Hot Saturday (1932)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A pretty but virtuous small-town bank clerk is the victim of a vicious rumor from an unsuccessful suitor that she spent the night with a notorious womanizer.

Director: William A. Seiter
Stars: Cary Grant, Nancy Carroll, Randolph Scott


Complete credited cast:
Ruth Donnelly ...
Miss Stevens
Emma Dunn ...
Mrs. Roberts
Sam Gobel
Ned Sparks ...
George Moxley
Walter Walker ...
Mr. Miller


Al Roberts writes a gossip column for the Daily Express. He will write about anyone and everyone as long as he gets the credit. He gets into a little difficulty with a hood named Goebel who sends Frankie to talk to Alvin. But Al has the confession of Frankie on cylinders so Frankie becomes his own bodyguard and information line. One person Al is always taking digs at is crooner Bunny Harmon, because he hates crooners. When he writes a story about Dorothy's blessed event, he comes to regret destroying her life. But more importantly to Al and Frankie, her man may end 'Spilling the Dirt' permanently. Written by Tony Fontana <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Here it is! The scandalous comedy of a scandal columnist who rose FROM A KEYHOLE TO A NATIONAL INSTITUTION


Drama | Comedy





Release Date:

10 September 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bisbilhotices  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This movie was originally intended to star James Cagney. See more »


Featured in Maltin on Movies: Battleship (2012) See more »


Shapiro Shoes
(1932) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Al Dubin
Copyright 1932 by M. Witmark & Sons
Sung by Dick Powell
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

If you want to know what "chutzpah" is, watch Lee Tracy in action
3 May 2007 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Lee Tracy is one of the lost joys of the pre-Code era. He mostly played newspapermen (he was Hildy Johnson in the original Broadway production of The Front Page) with a sideline in press agents, and whatever his racket he epitomized the brash, fast-talking, crafty, stop-at-nothing operator. He makes Cagney look bashful, skating around in perpetual, delirious overdrive, gesticulating and spitting out his lines like an articulate machine-gun, wheedling and needling and swearing on his mother's life as he lies through his teeth. He was homely and scrawny, with a raspy nasal voice, and he always played cocky, devious scoundrels, yet you find yourself rooting for him and reveling in his sheer energy and shameless moxie. Audiences of the early thirties loved his snappy style and irrepressible irreverence; they loved him because he was nobody's fool. He's a rare example of a character actor—that guy who always plays reporters—who through force of personality, and the luck of embodying the zeitgeist, had a brief reign as a star.

In BLESSED EVENT he plays Alvin Roberts, a character based so closely on Walter Winchell that Winchell could have sued--but he probably loved it. When we first meet Alvin, he's a lowly kid from the ad department who has been given a chance to sub for a gossip columnist and gotten in trouble for filling the column with dirt—primarily announcements of who is "anticipating a blessed event" without the proper matrimonial surroundings. Soon he's become an all-powerful celebrity and made scores of enemies, including a gangster willing to bump him off to shut him up. There's a subplot about Alvin's ongoing feud with a smarmy crooner, Bunny Harmon, played by Dick Powell. Anyone who finds Powell in his crooning days repellent will appreciate Tracy's merciless vendetta. Actually, I think Powell is being deliberately irritating here—even in Busby Berkeley films he's not so egregiously perky and fey. He does sing one good song, "Too Many Tears" (a theme throughout the film), and a wonderfully witless radio jingle for "Shapiro's Shoes."

Alvin's standard greeting is, "What do you know that I don't?" The answer is nothing—at least not for long. But he's surrounded by worthy foils. Ruth Donnelly is both tart and peppery as Alvin's harried secretary ("You want to see Mr. Roberts? Oh, you want to sue Mr. Roberts. The line forms on the left.") Allen Jenkins, who keeps saying he's from Chicago even though his Brooklyn accent could be cut with a steak knife, plays a mug sent by his gangster boss to threaten Roberts. In a mind-blowing scene, Alvin terrifies the tough guy with a graphic, horrifying description of death in the electric chair. Tracy plays this monologue with unholy gusto; if you're not opposed to the death penalty, you will be after this. There's a funny scene in which Jenkins has to pass time with Alvin's sweet, clueless mother, who is continually thwarted in her desire to listen to the Bunny Harmon Hour on the radio. The usual suspects fill out the cast, those character actors whose very predictability is their glory: Ned Sparks the perennial gloomy pickle-puss; Frank McHugh the perennial hapless nebbish; Jack La Rue the perennial menacing hoodlum. Director Roy Del Ruth (who also helmed the wildly entertaining BLONDE CRAZY) keeps BLESSED EVENT going like a popcorn-maker; the sly, outrageous zingers just keep coming.

Lee Tracy's career never recovered after he was fired from MGM for a drunken indiscretion committed in Mexico. But I doubt he could have lasted long as a star after the Code anyway, since his films are gleefully amoral, frequently demonstrating that crime—or at least lying, cheating and riding roughshod over other people's feelings—pays. Every Lee Tracy vehicle contains a moment when he realizes he's gone too far, usually when the girl he fancies bursts into tears and tells him off. (Here he crosses the line in a big way when he betrays a desperate young woman who begs him not to reveal her pregnancy.) He looks suddenly abashed, protesting, "Gee, if I'd known you felt that way…I'd give anything not to have done that…Baby, sugar, listen…!" But two second later he's back to his old scheming ways. A reformed Lee Tracy would be like Fred Astaire with arthritis. Not that he isn't a good guy deep down…well, maybe. He has charm, anyway: an impish grin and twinkly eyes and boyish blond hair, like Tom Sawyer crossed with a Tammany Hall fixer. His reactions to sentimentality—to Dick Powell's cloying tenor or Franchot Tone in BOMBSHELL telling Jean Harlow he'd like to run barefoot through her hair—are delicious. He's salt and vinegar, no sweetening. In BLESSED EVENT Alvin has a fit when an editorial calls him the "nadir" of American journalism. Lee Tracy, on the other hand, represents is the zenith of the American newspaper movie.

25 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Blessed Event (1932) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: