6.8/10
368
17 user 2 critic

Hard to Get (1938)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 5 November 1938 (USA)
When spoiled young heiress Maggie Richards tries to charge some gasoline at an auto camp run by Bill Davis, he makes her work out her bill by making beds. Resolving to get even, she ... See full summary »

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(screen play), (screen play) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Margaret (as Olivia De Havilland)
...
Ben Richards
...
Roscoe
...
Connie
...
Case
...
Mrs. Richards
...
Stanley Potter
...
Atwater
...
Burke
...
Hattie
...
Judge Harkness
...
Schaff
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Storyline

When spoiled young heiress Maggie Richards tries to charge some gasoline at an auto camp run by Bill Davis, he makes her work out her bill by making beds. Resolving to get even, she pretends to have forgiven him, and sends him to her father to get financing for a plan Bill has. What happens next was not part of her original revenge plan. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 November 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Difícil de Apanhar  »

Company Credits

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 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The price of gas at Bill's station is 18 cents per gallon. Margaret buys 5 gallons for 90 cents on her second visit. See more »

Goofs

When Bill is forcibly carrying Margaret from her car after she can't pay for the gas, just after they pass the pumps the shadow of the boom microphone can be seen following them on the ground. See more »

Quotes

Margaret Richards: May I have your hat sir?
Bill Davis: Yeah. Say, take it easy, its the only one I got.
Margaret Richards: I'll put it in the safe.
See more »

Connections

References The Singing Fool (1928) See more »

Soundtracks

Put That Down in Writing
(1938) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played at the Atwater party when Bill gets wise to Maggie
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User Reviews

 
Poorly written characters undo what could have been a very good film.
20 October 2010 | by See all my reviews

When this film begins, you find that Olivia DeHavilland plays a thoroughly obnoxious spoiled brat--too spoiled to be a likable character, as I think they should have toned down her character a bit. Anyway, she stops at a gas station and fills up but has no money. No matter in her mind, as she instructs the attendant (Dick Powell) to 'just charge it'. However, the company does not allow charges and Powell cannot just trust her for the amount, as it will come out of his paycheck should she not return to pay him later. On top of that, she behaves with such a strong sense of entitlement, it's not surprising he won't let her go until she works off her debt! Eventually, Olivia works off the debt and returns to her rich father (Charles Winninger) and insists that Daddy have Powell fired. Instead, Winninger and Olivia eventually decide to spend much of the film toying with Powell and behaving like total jerks in the process.

I really think they should have made this family a bit kookier and a lot less mean-spirited and selfish--as it handicapped the film significantly. On the plus side, Powell is excellent--with a few nice songs (I usually hate songs) and seemingly effortless acting. He was at his best here--and DeHavilland, who is usually one of my very favorites, is in a film that is simply beneath her extraordinary talents. No wonder she eventually sued Warner Brothers to get out of her contract!!! The bottom line is that the film has lots of nice moments and is likable at times. But, with such annoying characters to undo the plot, it fails where it SHOULD have been a winner. A simple re-write would have done a world of good with this film.

By the way, while I liked Powell in the film, I was shocked to see him do a number in black-face. Uggh!!! The pain!

Also, get a load of James Finlayson playing a bit part. It's nice to see him in a role outside of his usual Laurel & Hardy appearances.


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