Times Square Lady (1935) Poster

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Any Time He Holds My Hand And Tells Me That He's Mine
bkoganbing10 March 2009
Though he was hardly a name to put above the title as yet, Robert Taylor's first film in which he is first billed is Times Square Lady. He plays a Broadway sharpie who used to work for an entertainment/sports tycoon who has just died and left the whole enterprise to his daughter, Virginia Bruce. From what is described in the film, Virginia's father was a combination of Tex Rickard and Billy Rose.

He's left all kinds of businesses to his daughter, including a nightclub that Taylor runs. The rest of the gang consists of such various types of Hollywood villainy as Henry Kolker, Russell Hopton, Raymond Hatton, and Jack LaRue. The idea is for these guys to low ball the success and future prospects, get Bruce to sell to them and then turn around and sell the whole package to a rival promoter. Taylor's job is to romance Bruce which he undertakes and that of course is not seen in a good light by his girlfriend, Helen Twelvetrees.

The romance angle was easy for Taylor as he and Virginia Bruce were involved at the time. Virginia Bruce was in the process of getting divorced from John Gilbert when she and Taylor were kanoodling. Taylor does a fine job in the role, that major stardom was in his future was not even questioned.

But more than a big step up in Robert Taylor's career, Times Square Lady is the film in the song The Object Of My Affection was introduced by Pinky Tomlin who also wrote part of the lyric. This is an enduring classic, still as popular today as it was back then. Why it wasn't nominated in that second year of the Best Song category is a mystery.

A key film in the rise of a great career and an enduring popular song, most films don't have either of those things to their credit.
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A routine romantic crime drama with a couple of nice songs sung by Pinky Tomlin..
Arthur Hausner27 January 2003
Robert Taylor, in his first leading role, manages a nightclub in this romantic crime drama. Virginia Bruce inherits that club as well as some other sporting places around town: a hockey team, a race track, a dog track, etc. Henry Kolker is a crooked lawyer trying to get her to sell her holdings at a fraction of their true worth on behalf of the other crooked managers. So they stage events to convince her (and a hockey player is killed as a result of a staged fight). Because she is so reluctant, Kolker has Taylor, as the most handsome of the bunch, to woo her and convince her to sell. But of course he falls in love instead, and his actions are then very predictable, as are the actions of the other managers, who do not take Taylor's betrayal lying down. The biggest attraction for me was the appearance of Pinky Tomlin, who has little to do with the plot. He's there to provide some comedy and to sing his very popular song "The Object of My Affection" and another lesser known song he co-wrote. Tomlin hasn't made many movies, so it's worth seeing this one to catch him in it.
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A Solid Gangster Film from the Thirties
judithh-128 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
MGM studios released two films with Robert Taylor early in 1935. "Society Doctor", starring Chester Morris, Virginia Bruce and Robert Taylor premiered in January. "Times Square Lady" followed in March, starring Robert Taylor. Virginia Bruce and Pinky Tomlin. Lady is a solid gangster film, with a strong cast backing Taylor and Bruce. Isabel Jewell is Bruce's wise-cracking sidekick, Nat Pendleton is his valet, Helen Twelvetrees his girl. The rest of the cast consists mostly of a wonderfully slimy bunch of crooks played by Jack Kramer, Henry Kolker, Raymond Hatton, Russell Hopton, Fred Kohler and Robert Elliott.

The plot is fairly straightforward. A wealthy promoter dies and his shady underlings assume they will take over his considerable holdings. To their surprise, the deceased had a daughter (Bruce) who is his sole heir. With a paternalism bordering on contempt, they plan to report to her that there is no money for her to inherit but they will take his properties off her hands for a fraction of their worth.

To convince her to sell, the crooks stage some incidents to demonstrate how bad it all is. Gang member Robert Taylor is assigned to charm the lady out of her holdings. Taylor manages a nightclub and this introduces a subplot involving singer/songwriter Pinky Tomlin, creator of such songs as "The Object of My Affection" and "What's the Reason (I'm Not Pleasin' You?).

Taylor frequently played dubious characters who find redemption in such films as "Rogue Cop" and "Johnny Eager." Here he is saved by his love for Miss Bruce's character. As happened not infrequently they were also a couple off screen.

The last quarter of the film is filled with action, car chases, fights, shootings and a lot of double crossing. The film moves quickly and benefits from comic relief by Tomlin, Pendleton and a cow named either Daisy or Bossy.

Robert Taylor is very young and very thin. The physical differences between the Taylor of "Times Square Lady" (filmed late 1934) and "His Brother's Wife" (filmed in 1936) are striking. Nonetheless he is effective here, combining toughness with energy and humor. Bruce and Taylor have good chemistry together. The film was generally well received in its day, with the New York Times calling it "a bit of light divertissement."
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This is not a movie
Martha Wilcox4 July 2014
There is nothing to commend this film. They call it a movie, but it fails to provide any engaging characters or compelling story. The script is poorly written, and the comedy in the film is just not funny. It's one of those films that has not stood the test of time and has become hard to find simply because it's not good. It comes nowhere near the quality of Robert Taylor's later films. His 1930s films are of a poor quality, and there is no star quality in any of them to indicate what he would become later in his career. I would say to all Taylor fans to stay away from this film as it provides no entertainment value nor is Taylor's performance up to the standard of what we would expect.
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Routine crime drama interrupted by corny song and dumb gangsters.
mark.waltz3 December 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Sounding like a glamorous MGM drawing room comedy, "Times Square Lady" is so totally the opposite as it deals with the death of a criminal and the revelation that the heir to his nightclub is a daughter he barely knew brought up by her late mother's relatives in Iowa. When this glamorous young lady arrives, society takes notice, and the gangsters who wanted to get control of his club go after her like a dog attacking a steak. She attracts the attention of the very handsome Robert Taylor who isn't as involved in organized crime as the rival gangsters but is already engaged to the shady Helen Twelvetrees. Pretty much nothing happens in the film's 67 minutes that couldn't have been summed up in one of those "Crime Does Not Pay" shorts, and too much time is given to country bumpkin Pinky Tomlin to sing "The Object Of My Affection" over and over. Frankly, I'd rather hear Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer sing it in that memorable "Our Gang" short.

Nat Pendleton adds buffoonish comedy as Taylor's driver, and really surpasses the line of stupidity when he sticks his smiling head out of a window, looking back at shooting gangsters chasing them. Isabel Jewell adds a bit of amusing comedy as the manicurist whom Bruce hires as her secretary/companion, but for the most part, this feels like an amalgamation of bits and pieces of every crime drama already made and totally overloaded with stereotypes. Taylor and Bruce make an attractive couple, but its just a shame that they didn't have a screenplay that was a bit fresher and didn't feel like it was thrown together with pages torn apart from older scripts.
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Just okay....nothing more
MartinHafer13 September 2015
Steve (Robert Taylor) is a gambler and his buddies are all gangsters. While he has a nice-guy persona, he's one of them and makes money rigging various sporting events and it's an ugly business. In the midst of this comes a nice lady, Toni (Virginia Bruce) and the two soon fall for each other. However, she doesn't know about Steve and her family's business interests and Steve eventually has a problem with his conscience. He loves her but his friends are killers and thugs. What to do?

This is an okay movie but could have been a lot better and more biting. But, inexplicably, the film has a musical interesting, Pinky, who has absolutely no reason to be in the film and he's a completely lightweight character--and has no place in a film that should have had a lot more noir. Additionally, the ending really was too idealistic and difficult to believe. All in all, a decent set up but a dissatisfying conclusion.
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