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Notorious but Nice is a 1933 Pre-code American sound film drama directed by Richard Thorpe and starring Marian Marsh and Betty Compson. It was produced and distributed by B-Movie studio ... See full summary »
This second feature about how Chester Morris goes undercover to break up a counterfeiting ring is a decent effort, but has all the earmarks of something that should have been better. It has a fine cast including Morris, Lloyd Nolan, Claude Gillingwater doing one of his patented grouches and the always believable Marc Lawrence as a hood. But minor irritations, including Margot Grahame doing a poor line reading, a script that seems to overstate the obvious and, most annoying to me, bad soundwork, render this no more than adequate.
Usually you don't notice sound in a movie like this, but I have several issues. First, everyone but Chester Morris speaks clearly and at the same sound level at all times. Second, there is not much Foley work: except for a few sequences, there is no world outside the characters. And finally, the music track doesn't exist, except in a few scenes, where its presence calls attention to itself and its lack elsewhere.
George McKay has a nice turn as 'Angel', an expert in how to act to avoid being identified as someone who passes 'queer' money. But other than that, there is little to lift this movie into anything particularly interesting. So it's a decent time waster, and little more.
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