Shelby Barrett (Barbara Stanwyck) rides show horses for wealthy widow "Nicko" Nicholas (Genevieve Tobin)and meets Johnny Wyatt (Gene Raymond), scion of a once-wealthy Long Island Family, ... See full summary »
Laura is a nurse at the Front in World War I. She meets and falls for a young flyer named Geoffrey. On his first mission, Geoffrey is shot down and taken to the hospital where Laura works. ... See full summary »
Willie Harrington is a wimpy small-town bookkeeper at a bank who unwittingly gets involved with the country's toughest gangster and his gang, and he gets suspected of being the leader of ... See full summary »
Judge Moffett is as crooked as they come and the Board of Judicial Corruption is after him. So he hides out in the poor part of town. While there, she drops the bankbook that Moffett has ... See full summary »
[Regarding Burt, who has run out on his pregnant lover, but is the apple of his mother's eye]
Oh, well - maternal pride. I bet even a baby skunk smells like a rosebud to its mother.
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This fast, fizzy, deft comedy skirts the Code so nimbly that I couldn't tell just by watching (on TCM this morning, thanks for the thousandth time TCM) whether it's pre- or post-Code. I appreciated so many unsung, supporting, and subtextual things about this ur-romcom that I can't mention them all here. In order of surprise/urgency, the top 5 are:
1. Otto Kruger! Here is the man who clearly should gotten all those roles wasted on Warren Williams - what were producers thinking? (Were they thinking?) They look about the same age, yet Otto's handsomer, less tedious, and possessed of actual romantic and comic acting chops.
2. The writing! Cattiness among beauticians, and the delectable Alice Brady brand of un-self-awareness: "I'm very intuitive." Her literal kiss-off scene with Kruger has never been done better in a comedy, not even by Meryl Streep and *insert leading man here*.
3. The bad boyfriend! An almost complex portrait of a goofball who clearly doesn't deserve the leading lady, but not because he's a bad guy. He's not all good, either. He's just not grown up. It's a forgiving, shaded character, played by Eddie Nugent with a subtlety usually missing from lame runner-up lover roles.
4. The slapstick! I don't care how many takes they went through to print the change-of-driver-in-real-estate-agent's-car scene. The result is totally worth it. I'm actually surprised I've never seen this bit in a TCM montage of silly scenes.
5. Madge Evens! Una Merkel! Listed low, but only for the surprise factor. Both are at or near their very best here. Miss Merkel never gets enough credit for delivering both sides of a double-entendre grilled to smoking hot perfection. Miss Evans does more-or-less blameless ingenue so well it's not boring - this is Carole Lombard territory, and she nails it, sweetly and demurely (well, mostly demurely, see no. 4).
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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