Tracey Browne (Michael Whalen), sports editor of the "Globe", leanrs that fight promoter Richards (Alan Dinehart) and Stevens (Douglas Fowley), sports editor of the "Dispatch", are conducting a boxing racket that victimizes down-and-out, has-been fighters, and he denounces them in his column. He gives Alice Fuller (Richelle Hudson),daughter of one of the fighters (Pat Flaherty) whom he aids , the job of following young Clint De Witt (John Beck), son of the "Globe's" owner, to see that he sticks to his job. Browne, who has fallen in love with Alice, thinks it is Clint she loves. In their effort to get Browne for his meddling, Richards and Stevens strike at him through Clint. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
This movie's title is "Woman Wise". I don't know where IMDb gets the notion that there's a hyphen in there somewhere. Ah, yes, I do. It was copyrighted with a hyphen by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. (sic) on 22 January 1937. I guess you couldn't expect a clerk who got the company's name wrong to get the film's title correct either. The Los Angeles release date was 14 January 1937. The movie succeeds despite some not particularly promising plot elements crusading against the fight rackets sports-writer (breezily played by Michael Whalen), crooked fight promoter (fast-talking Alan Dinehart), out-of-condition ex-pug trying to make a comeback (quite an able and sympathetic performance by Pat Flaherty), and loyal daughter of same (Rochelle Hudson, looking somewhat thin and none too attractively photographed and costumed), alcoholic ne'er-do-well son of newspaper publisher (the son is played by Thomas Beck and, as usual, he is far more convincing in his blacker moments in fact, as a goody, he is somewhat sooky) whom the hero tries to reform, keeping his worst peccadilloes secret from his long-suffering father (played with some bite by George Hassell).
The son is mixed up with a gold-digging coochy dancer convincingly played by Astrid Allwyn. This must be one of Astrid's largest screen roles. Usually she is wasted in some minor part, e.g. the friend of a friend in a cabaret scene. Of course, the hero is saddled with a comic sidekick (energetically, though not very amusingly played by Chick Chandler); while the crooked promoter has his henchman too, namely a rival newspaperman (smiling Doug Fowley, delivering another of his neat studies in villainy).
Despite these not particularly promising plot elements, cult director Allan Dwan has handled proceedings with some style. True, the plot and characters are dime-a-dozen familiar. But the dialogue is fast and even occasionally witty and Dwan makes it seem ever faster and wittier by handling it in long takes in rapid tracking shots. I also like that neat dissolve into Dinehart's private office after some establishing shots of the gym. Also, Dwan's compositions with Whalen in his donkey's head are comically effective. (Even though a process screen is obviously employed, the intercutting with subjective dolly shots of passers-by helps the disguise). And I love that top-of-the-head take of Allwyn on the telephone!
All told, while the direction is not as stylish as in Dwan's previous film, "15 Maiden Lane" (also produced by Sol Wurtzel), it's a worthy successor. As usual, thanks to Sol Wurtzel (who also functioned as executive producer of Fox's "B" unit), production values are comparatively lavish. The cast is rounded out with nice cameo portrayals by such as Tom Kennedy, Ward Bond and George Chandler. There are also a couple of reasonably tuneful songs, the sets are well appointed and attractive, and there's no stinting of extra players. In fact, extras are literally pouring out of the sets.
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