Ming Toy is on the auction block in China. She is saved by Billy and taken to San Francisco by Lo Sang Kee. To save her from deportation she is sold to Charlie Yong, the Chop Suey King. Billy kidnaps her with plans of marriage.
Bill McCaffery, a plumber, wins big at the racetrack but then his luck runs out and almost ruins his business. Molly Gilbert, his manicurist girlfriend, stands by him and helps him readjust to life as a plumber.
Myron Brooks, a medical-school student, graduates and starts his internship at a hospital. He asks his sweetheart, Ruth Robbins, to marry him but she refuses to until he has established his practice. Meanwhile, she goes to work as a secretary for an attorney, Albert Hartman, and he is so impressed with her dictation abilities that he sets her up a place to practice her dictation and other secretarial skills. It is only after she is taken to a hospital with an appendicitis attack, and young Doctor Marlowe performs a successful appendectomy on her that she decides to give up her night job and marry Dr. Brooks. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Coming between the horror classics FRANKENSTEIN (1931) and THE OLD DARK HOUSE (1932), this is all the more disappointing for a Whale movie; in fact, I would say it is even drearier than his worst-regarded effort i.e. THEY DARE NOT LOVE (1941)! The film seems undecided whether it wants to be a comedy or a drama: second leads Una Merkel and Andy Devine are positively irritating but, then, protagonists Mae Clarke and Lew Ayres both off acclaimed dramatic showcases, she in Whale's own WATERLOO BRIDGE (1931) and he in the Oscar-wining WWI masterpiece ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT (1930) do not exactly set the screen on fire (incidentally, his doctor role proved prophetic since he would eventually incarnate Dr. Kildare in a long-running series of 'B' pictures!).
To be fair to it, though, the narrative is very typical of the time with Clarke a secretary in an office dealing with divorce cases (a timely and very hot topic over here at the moment, since Malta is one of only 2 countries in the world which has still not implemented it!) who yearns for romance. She meets Ayres when he is called to pick up an attempted suicide at her tenement house, but their relationship runs far from smoothly while her dumb pal Merkel falls head-over-heels for his gawky nurse Devine! The trouble concerns both her ageing but suave employer John Halliday's attentions (he even buys her a swank apartment and there is a suggestion that he seduces clients as well!) and Ayres' low income (he is still a student); of course, the two eventually get together in melodramatic fashion when he has to operate on Clarke due to her suffering from acute appendicitis! Incidentally, despite the title, along the way it is Ayres who does most of the pursuing in one scene, he phones her up twice in the middle of the night (from an uncredited Walter Brennan's bar!) after having just been with her and then presents himself at her doorstep yet again!
Unfortunately, the copy I acquired is of very poor quality being generally hazy and missing frames, as well as featuring picture loss and extremely dark night-time sequences; that said, it ran some 7 minutes longer than the official 72-minute length given on IMDb: go figure!
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