Cora and Matt have tons of money and have spent a lot just to be accepted into New York society. The problem is that New York society has very little money. Matt prefers lunch counters and ... See full summary »
Cora and Matt have tons of money and have spent a lot just to be accepted into New York society. The problem is that New York society has very little money. Matt prefers lunch counters and regular clothes to fancy dining rooms and dinner clothes, but Cora wants to be in with the '400'. So they give the cash poor, but socially prominent, Marsh's money to have a little party in their honor, and Matt hires waitress Sandy to pose as their daughter. But Harley has already meet Sandy on the sidewalk, and even though he does not know who she is, he is in love with her. But Sandy does not like him. Written by
Tony Fontana <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"All in all, "Going Highbrow" (1935) is a pretty good post production code comedy although its rather fragmented structure works against efforts to make it a unified story.
Cora (Zasu Pitts) and Matt (Guy Kilbee) Upshaw are hicks from Wellington, Kansas who accidentally made big money at the start of the stock market crash. Matt's broker misunderstood Matt's instructions and invested all his money in put (sell) options for a single stock, the total opposite of Matt's intentions. After the price declined no one exercised their options to buy and Matt got to keep all the proceeds.
Matt is still simple and unpretentious but Cora is determined to crash New York's "Society 400" list. The "nouveau riche" Upshaws enlist the old money (but none left) Marsh family to introduce Cora to the proper people. Part of the scheme involves hiring struggling actress Sandy Long (June Martel) to play Cora's daughter. This sets up an extremely lame romance between Martel and Ross Alexander, who plays the Marsh son. Edward Everett Horton plays Augie Winterspoon, the Marsh's financial adviser. He tries valiantly to link the story elements together.
The soon to be famous singer, yodeler, cowgirl Judy Canova does a nice job in a small supporting part as Sandy's coworker.
"Going Highbrow" is a must see for fans of Zasu Pitts as she dominates the first half of the film with a somewhat different variation on her airhead character. Instead of her usual scatterbrain adventures she plays a self-absorbed social climber, but still manages to infuse the role with her usual comic touches. Pitts was one of the few comedians whose gift for dialogue and expression was effectively complemented by a talent for physical comedy. Because her technique has never gone out of style, her films (including this one) do not seem nearly as dated as other productions from the same time period. Credit Una Merkel, Gloria Grahame, Goldie Hawn, and Brittany Murphy with keeping the Pitts' style alive down though the years.
Horton is almost young looking in this film but has already developed most of the comedic touches he would apply to countless character roles during his long career. He really has too much screen time and during the second half you keep wishing for more of Pitts who effectively disappears from the second half of the film.
Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.
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