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Smarty (1934)

 -  Comedy  -  19 May 1934 (USA)
5.7
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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 »

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

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Cast

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

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 <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

TV-G
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 May 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hit Me Again  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

Vicki Wallace Thorpe: If he really loved me, he'd have hit me long ago.
See more »

Connections

References The Public Enemy (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Say Good-Night
(1934) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played when Vernon is viewing the models
See more »

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User Reviews

Slight tale of masochistic woman in control
18 March 2011 | by (Vancouver, BC) – See all my reviews

At one point in this movie, Joan Blondell's character confides to a friend thoughts about her husband striking her, "That's just it. If he really loved me, he'd a hit me long ago." Very much a product of its time, this pre-Hays code tale reflects a morality that seems cruel and sexist now. But the main character revels in her time; cracking double entendres and frank admissions of how she likes to be physically abused yet control the men who love her.

Joan Blondell, infamous for her proclivity for shedding her clothes at parties, seems right at home in this role. Her risqué comments and coy delivery fit neatly within the framework of her character.

You could not make this movie today. Even the thought of a woman inviting physical abuse upon herself is taboo. But not in "Smarty". This brisk, if somewhat slight, film bathes in its taboo-breaking with a kind of so what bravado. The characters are friendly, even affectionate, with each other despite the blows, both physical and emotional. The breezy repartee ignores the reality of the situations, instead playing light thanks to a humorous script and crisp performances.

Yes, "Smarty" is a look back at a time before PC was de riguer and people like Will H. Hays, for better or worse, ruled cinema. If you can get past the glossing over of physical violence, you may just be lured into the lead character's web. Joan Blondell brings it. Watching her performance in this movie, I don't know why she wasn't a bigger star.


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