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Panama Flo (1932)

Passed  -  Drama | Romance  -  29 January 1932 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 97 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 1 critic

A New York chorus girl is coerced into keeping house for an oil man in South America to pay off a debt. Her boyfriend comes to get her but she finds out that he is only out for the oil man's money.

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Title: Panama Flo (1932)

Panama Flo (1932) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Helen Twelvetrees ...
Flo
Robert Armstrong ...
Babe
...
McTeague
Marjorie Peterson ...
Pearl
Maude Eburne ...
Sadie
Paul Hurst ...
Al
Reina Velez ...
Chacra
Hans Joby ...
Pilot
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Storyline

A New York chorus girl is coerced into keeping house for an oil man in South America to pay off a debt. Her boyfriend comes to get her but she finds out that he is only out for the oil man's money.

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Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 January 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Second Shot  »

Company Credits

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 »
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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

A print of this film survives in the UCLA Film and Television Archives. See more »

Connections

Remade as Panama Lady (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Some of These Days
(1910) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Shelton Brooks
Sung a cappella by Helen Twelvetrees with modified lyrics
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User Reviews

 
Calls a spade a spade
16 September 2006 | by (Montreal) – See all my reviews

Here's one of those totally obscure but jaw-dropping precodes that pop up at 2 am every month or so on TCM. This one fits squarely in the Tropical Tramps sub-genre, a cousin to the Carole Lombard flick "White Woman", but with an even rawer atmosphere.

RKO's cutie-pie sob-sister Helen Twelvetrees is surprisingly cast as a cabaret dancer in a sleazy Panama saloon. The old crone who runs the joint (Maude Eburne, in a wonderfully grotesque characterization) announces that she can no longer pay her dancers or supply them with promised tickets back home. But she invites them to hang around the club anyway and make money off the customers any way they please. Our heroine reluctantly helps relieve a two-fisted, hard-drinking oil man (Charles Bickford) of his wad of cash by slipping him a mickey, but he gets wise. Rather than do time in the nightmarish local hoosegow, she agrees to be Bickford's "housekeeper" in his shack in the croc-infested Venezuela jungle. Eventually, an aviator ex-boyfriend (Robert G Armstrong) shows up, and the testosterone flies like spit in a bullpen. The finale is quite a curve ball.

There's great slangy patter, lots of innuendo, and some very seedy sets. The principals play it full-throttle, and though it's definitely not great art, it shows what realities Hollywood could vigorously grapple with before the Code. Apparently, contemporary critics mocked the picture for its unbelievable shifts of character, but I'd say that this very unpredictability helps give it a modern edginess. Don't miss it when it turns up again. Remade by the studio as "Panama Lady" with (wait for it...) Lucille Ball in the title role (and she's surprisingly good).


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