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A. Edward Sutherland
Richard 'Skeets' Gallagher,
Gangster Shoots Magiz is the producer of the show in which Mary is appearing. She marries him even though she can't stand a thing about him, knowing that in his business he may not be around for long. She's right. A series of loves and deaths ensues. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
Chester Morris is "Office Boy," a sort of assistant to Nat Pendleton's head gangster. Pendleton has the hots for chorus girl Carole Lombard and is eventually persuaded (not easily!) to marry her.
The relationship between Office Boy and Lombard's Mary hovers between unfriendly and hostile for the majority of the picture, and is well summed up by the wedding gift with which Office Boy presents her: a chisel! Yes, Mary is strictly out for the money, and poor boy Morrisa loyal employee but nobody's foollets her know that he sees through her phony hysterics and overblown romantic antics. Well, it's pretty obvious from this point that the situation, shall we say, is bound to develop.
The plot isn't much. Lombard's character is unsympathetic, at times downright annoying. The supporting cast frustrates, too: Leo Carillo's Greek gangster butchers English pronunciation but is more irritating than funny or sinister, and Zasu Pitts is only given one good scene in what could have been an ideal role for her as Lombard's friend and confidante. Pendleton is energetic but dumber than you'd think a mob boss could possibly be.
So when things really do start to pop, it's difficult to throw your sympathies, much less belief, behind what's happening. However, Carole Lombard successfully pulls it off: her early hamming is only a setup for her excellent late scenes in which her character's genuine warmth pushes aside the cold-hearted faker previously on display. We can almost believe that Morris's character would actually fall for her. Morris, by the way, is excellent throughouta straight man among caricatures, he holds his own and is never overshadowed.
It's kind of a silly movie, certainly uneven and not close to entirely successful in the way it veers back and forth between comedy and melodrama. But as a fan of both Lombard and Morris, I wouldn't want to miss it. Ultimately, neither star disappoints.
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