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The Half Naked Truth (1932)

Passed | | Comedy, Romance | 16 December 1932 (USA)
A barker at a down-at-the-heels carnival becomes a powerhouse New York publicity man as he transforms a sideshow dancer into a Broadway sensation.

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(screen play), (screen play) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Jimmy Bates
...
Achilles
...
Merle Farrell
Shirley Chambers ...
Gladys aka Ella Beebee
...
Mr. Wellburton - Hotel Clerk
...
Colonel Munday
Mary Mason ...
Miss Mason - Farrell's Secretary
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Storyline

A barker at a down-at-the-heels carnival becomes a powerhouse New York publicity man as he transforms a sideshow dancer into a Broadway sensation. Written by David S. Smith

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Appleville Stood Agast! (original poster) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

16 December 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Phantom Fame  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Because of Lee Tracy's absences and late arrivals on the set, RKO withheld $3500 from his salary and sued him for $10,000 which they alleged his actions cost them. It was settled out of court with RKO paying half his salary and, if he behaved himself, the other half would be paid as a bonus after he completed his next RKO picture, which turned out to be Wanted! Jane Turner (1936). Tracy requested and was paid the bonus after that film was completed. See more »

Goofs

Shirley Chambers' onscreen character name is "Gladys," but she says her name is "Ella Beebee." She is never called Gladys. See more »

Quotes

Achilles: [Noticing a young, attractive hotel maid] Say, girlie, I been watchin' you. What's a nice girl like you doing work like this for?
Gladys, aka Ella Beebee and Eve: Oh, I'm only doing this temporary. I'm going to be a secretary as soon as I learn to spell better.
Achilles: Oh, you oughta' be on the stage!
Gladys, aka Ella Beebee and Eve: I thought of that, too, but I never got around to it.
See more »

Soundtracks

O! Mister Carpenter
(1932) (uncredited)
Lyrics by Edward Eliscu
Music by Harry Akst
Performed several times by Lupe Velez, often with Lee Tracy on piano
Also used as background music
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User Reviews

 
30 pounds of raw meat.
11 August 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Half Naked Truth is directed by Gregory La Cava who also co-writes the screenplay with Corey Ford from a story by Ben Markson and H.N. Swanson. It stars Lupe Velez, Lee Tracy, Eugene Palette and Frank Morgan. Music is by Max Steiner and cinematography by Bert Glennon.

A carnival barker and a spunky belly dancer take on the might of Broadway...

Based on the book The Anatomy of Ballyhoo: Phantom Fame (David Freedman & Harry Reichenbach), The Half Naked Truth is a smart and near caustic observation on the product of celebrity status. While not in the same league as the best of Preston Sturges, it's a film of many pleasures if you have a bent for rapid fire dialogue and scattergun pacing. What unfolds during the story is basically that an energetic Lee Tracy as Bates pulls stunts galore to bluff the whole of Broadway. The ruse is that Velez's belly dancer is actually a foreign princess and Bates engineers openings to stardom because of it. But of course problems are around the corner.

Sharp performances back up the sharp script and some of the stunts pulled by Bates are very funny. It's something of an acquired taste, as comedy - especially the screwball variety - invariably always is, but this is a good pre-code comedy that has more beneath the surface than is first apparent. 7/10


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