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Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams
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Samson Raphaelson, one of Lubitsch's favorite screenwriters, tackles the script of this comedy of manners, Frank Lloyd directs and Janet Gaynor stars, ably supported by an excellent cast -- and they pull it off.
First, this is probably Miss Gaynor's most successful venture outside her usual acting vein in the talkies. She's very good at playing hard-working, honest, vulnerable girls. But she starts out with a scene with G.P. Huntley as the two most useless featherbrains in the world that left the tough Museum of Modern Arts audience gasping for breath from laughter, and continues with the plot in place, with the occasional belly laugh that keeps you interested. There are some lovely cameos, including a turn by Ned Sparks that will make you fall out of your chair. Even Lew Ayres, not noted for his comic abilities does a few lovely double takes.
Director Frank Lloyd is thought, nowadays, to have been another competent studio hack, useful enough for big productions like MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY but not for anything that required nuance. Here is one of the films that makes that claim a lie. This is still a comedy of manners, but we can see the Screwball Comedy evolving here, with its dual class warfare/war of the sexes themes.
If you have a chance to see this, do not pass it up.
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