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"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
Universal in the early 30's is mainly remembered as the home of the horror film, but in fact they ventured into other kinds of films as well. This fast little precode seems like it might have come from Warner Bros., but instead it is the product of Universal. Boris Karloff plays "Happy" the owner of a night club and husband to an unfaithful wife, not that he doesn't have a roving eye himself. George Raft shows up briefly in the film as a tough guy who has an eye for chorus girl Mae Clark. Finally there is Lew Ayres as the son of a prominent family whose mother has just recently shot his father dead and been acquitted. This is not the mom of a heart of gold that you see in so many depression era films, and the young man spends night after night in Happy's club trying to forget his troubles. Add in a snappy Busby Berkeley number and Happy's run-in with the suppliers of his bootleg whiskey and you have a very fast moving little precode. The film is visually interesting too, with an introduction similar to 1929's "Broadway", also by Universal, minus the silver-skinned giant calling the city to awaken and join him in his debauchery. Highly recommended, that is, if you can ever find a copy.
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