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Smarty (1934)

 -  Comedy  -  19 May 1934 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 151 users  
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Vicki Wallace (Joan Blondell) takes great pleasure in teasing her husband,Tony Wallace (Warren William), who takes no pleasure at all in being teased and it isn't long before he ups and ... See full summary »



(screen play), (screen play), 1 more credit »
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Title: Smarty (1934)

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Complete credited cast:
Warren William ...
Frank McHugh ...
Claire Dodd ...
Joan Wheeler ...
Mrs. Bonnie Durham
Virginia Sale ...
Edna - Vicki's Maid
Leonard Carey ...
Tilford - Tony's Butler


Vicki Wallace (Joan Blondell) takes great pleasure in teasing her husband,Tony Wallace (Warren William), who takes no pleasure at all in being teased and it isn't long before he ups and clips her on the chin. Vicki's friend and attorney, Vernon Thorpe (Edward Everett Horton), secures a divorce for her, and Vicki and Vernon are soon married. Vicki's yen for wearing revealing clothes and a penchant for inviting ex-husband Tony to dinner soon provokes the easily-provoked Vernon into belting one on her himself. She goes to Tony's apartment, where Tony is entertaining Bonnie (Joan Wheeler), who is not all that entertained by the presence of Vicki, especially after Vicki shows every intent of moving in and staying. Vernon shows up with George (Frank McHugh) and Anita (Claire Dood), evidently along so F. Hugh Herbert's lines can be spread among five players instead of three, and Vicki more or less tells Vernon that as long as she is going to be slugged by a husband, she will just go back to ... Written by Les Adams <>

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Plot Keywords:

divorce | judge | party | dressmaker | wager | See more »








Release Date:

19 May 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Smarty  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The play opened first in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA on 1 October 1927. It was retitled "Funny Face" for its New York run off-Broadway beginning 22 November 1927. See more »


Newspaper Column: What well-known lawyer just secured a divorce for a well-known woman - just married that well-known wife?
See more »


References The Public Enemy (1931) See more »


Bridal Chorus
(1850) (uncredited)
from "Lohengrin"
aka "Here Comes the Bride"
Music by Richard Wagner
Variation played when marriage is announced in gossip column
See more »

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User Reviews

She Who Gets Slapped
1 September 2002 | by (Kissimmee, Florida) – See all my reviews

"Smarty" (Warner Brothers, 1934), directed by Robert Florey, is another one of those numerous drawing room comedies and/or marital triangle stories churned by the numbers during the Depression era thirties, that, in spite of its familiar faces and names, with the running time of 64 minutes, is watchable but easily forgettable. It does reunite debonair Warren William and wisecracking Joan Blondell, whose previous screen efforts included: "Three on a Match" (1932), "Golddiggers of 1933" (1933), and "Goodbye Again" (1933). They would be paired one more time in "Stage Struck" (1936), but in support of Dick Powell and newcomer Jeanne Madden.

In a storyline that could very well have been used as a Norma Shearer and Robert Montgomery starrer at MGM, this Warner Brothers production and programmer begins with a happily married couple named Vicki (Joan Blondell) and Tony Wallace (Warren William), preparing to go out for the evening to the theater in honor of Vicki's birthday. Plans are interrupted until Tony receives a phone call from Vernon Thorpe (Edward Everett Horton), an attorney and family bachelor friend, who invites himself to spend the evening with them. Vicki suggests that Vernon come on over and have a friendly game of bridge with another couple, George (Frank McHugh) and his frequently married girlfriend, Anita (Claire Dodd). Against his wishes, Tony consents, in spite that he dislikes playing bridge with Vernon. After an argument that causes Vicki to laugh out loud at Tony, this makes him very angry and causes him to slap her. This slap stops Vicki cold. Because of the slap, their marriage, along with the bridge game, comes to an end. In spite of Tony's apologies, she refuses to forgive him. Vernon, who has always loved Vicki, agrees to act as her attorney in the divorce case. After the divorce is final, Vernon marries Vicki. After a year of wedded bliss, Vicki eventually gives Vernon reasons to give her a slap in the face as well, including wearing a backless dinner dress for which he doesn't approve, but most of all, laughing out loud at Vernon. Complications ensue leading to one thing after another before Vicki gets her well-deserved slap once again, this time from Tony.

Also in the supporting cast are Leonard Carey as Tilford, the butler; Frederick Burton as the courtroom judge; with Joan Wheeler, Virginia Sale and Bert Moorehouse. Claire Dodd, with her pencil thin eyebrows, continues to play her familiar character as a frequently divorced woman of the world, but this time, acting as Blondell's friend instead of her rival. As for Blondell's character, her constant teasing which causes her slaps on the face, is something her character certainly deserved. Comedy does have its quota of laughs, but not enough to have it placed in the top 100 Best American Comedies list by the American Film Institute.

"Smarty," based upon a play by F. Hugh Herbert, made one of its very rare TV showings on cable's Turner Classic Movies in August 1997. It was rebroadcast again August 30, 2002, on TCM as a tribute to star Joan Blondell on her birthday. Regardless, this is a rare movie find. Very rare indeed. The final result to "Smarty", however, is really a slap-happy farce with little credibility. (**1/2)

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