"Happy" MacDonald and his unfaithful wife own a Prohibition era night club. On this eventful night, he is threatened by bootleggers, and the club's star dancer falls in love with a young socialite who drinks to forget a personal tragedy, among other incidents. Written by
Poor Mae Clark was in loads of films yet is most known for getting a grapefruit in the kisser from James Cagney in 'Public Enemy.' So it's nice to see her in a part with a few more brains. She is just part of an odd mixed-salad of a cast. Some, like Boris Karloff as an awkwardly gangly night-club owner, and Bert Roach as a silly drunk, seem to be in strange waters. Others, like Lew Ayers and George Raft, get roles typical of their young careers. Though she has only one scene in this very short film, Hedda Hopper steals the show as the world's worst mother.
The only character to really warm to is The Doorman, Tim Washington (Clarence Muse). He is clearly in a horrible situation which those around pity at best and ignore at worst. So many African-American roles in the white films of the '30s are painful to watch, but Muse brings something special to this thankless part.
Cinematographer Merritt Gerstad shows an inventive eye both in the opening montage and in scenes that would otherwise be nothing to look at. And of course, we get brief Busby Berkeley numbers, which would never really work in a night club, but allowances must be made for Hollywood.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?