Notorious but Nice is a 1933 Pre-code American sound film drama directed by Richard Thorpe and starring Marian Marsh and Betty Compson. It was produced and distributed by B-Movie studio ...
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Notorious but Nice is a 1933 Pre-code American sound film drama directed by Richard Thorpe and starring Marian Marsh and Betty Compson. It was produced and distributed by B-Movie studio Chesterfield Motion Pictures. The film survives, with a copy preserved by The Library of Congress.
A soap opera film that is hard to believe yet enjoyable.
Provided you give this film a bit of latitude, you will find it enjoyable. When I say 'latitude' I mean that the film's plot is a bit far-fetched--and provided you just accept this and don't question this, you'll probably enjoy it.
Jenny Jones (Marian Marsh) is in love with Richard Hamilton. However, her boss is a bit of a nut. Although he has some reason to suspect Jenny's motives for dating Richard (since she lied to get the job), his behaviors are very strange--and he appears willing to bust up this romance so that his daughter can have Richard! Unable to obtain any damning evidence against Jenny after he has her followed by private detectives, the boss then decides to destroy her. He fires her, of course. But he also makes sure no one will hire her. And, when she's homeless and hungry, he has an agent set her up so that her fiancé thinks she's been running around on him. Unfortunately, the boss' son has little character and instead of seeking the truth, he automatically assumes she's a tramp.
A bit later, Jenny meets a guy (J. Carrol Naish) whose past is a bit shady. However, he's very good to her and loves her. Having no job, no boyfriend and apparently no future, Jenny marries him. However, when this new husband is killed, Jenny is framed for it! Can she manage to extricate herself from this mess and be found innocent of all blame in this weepy picture? What do you think? Does this all sound a lot like a soap opera? Well, it gets MUCH more soapy during the trial--and I am talking SOAPY!! The summation scene is laid on VERY thick. I would love to say more but don't want to ruin the film. Suffice to say, you learn a lot more about the boss--and WOW is it crazy!! Now I must admit that the last 20 minutes of the film is insanely improbable and even a tad silly--but it's also so full of the salacious and juicy stuff that made Pre-Code* films so doggone entertaining. Just turn off your brain and enjoy--the ending is like a roller coaster going out of control!!
*Up until mid-1934, Hollywood films were amazingly racy at times. Despite most folks today thinking that everyone was prudish back then, films of the 20s and early 30s occasionally featured nudity, homosexual characters, endorsed adultery, were very violent and occasionally the evil doers got away with it! The problem is that there was no rating system and some of this content obviously was NOT appropriate for kids. However, instead of a rating system like they developed in the late 60s, a public outcry resulted in a new, tough Production Code which banned, well, pretty much EVERYTHING! There is zero possibility that a film like "Notorious But Nice" would be seen in theaters between 1934 and decades later--unless there were a few changes in the plot. I know I am being cryptic, but the final bombshell you hear about in court in a VERY sticky and overdone finale is pretty much THE reason the film couldn't have been made just a year later.
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