6.8/10
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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
John Ridgely ...
Burke
...
Hattie
Granville Bates ...
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

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Herbert Ashley (Waiter) and Cliff Saum (Rivet Thrower) are listed as actors with those character names by some sources, but they were not seen in the print. 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 Firefly (1937) 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
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"And When It Came To Winning Blue Ribbons"
8 November 2008 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Hard To Get casts two of Jack Warner's most unhappy players on his lot in their second film together. Both Dick Powell and Olivia DeHavilland were begging Jack for more dramatic material to do and he was refusing both of them. Powell didn't get his first break in that department until years after he left Warner Brothers. As for Olivia, her salvation was coming next year when she loaned out to David O. Selznick for Gone With The Wind.

Olivia is a rich girl coming from a family that looks suspiciously like the Bullochs from My Man Godfrey with mother Isabel Jeans, younger sister Bonita Granville and father Charles Winninger. Olivia's the rebellious one who just doesn't want to go to Newport again with mom and sis. She takes the car and stops at a gas station owned by Dick Powell and Allen Jenkins. The gas station is also a small motel and when Olivia forgets to bring her purse and Powell doesn't believe she's rich, he forces her to turn down the beds for her gasoline.

That starts the usual sparring between the rich girl and the poor, but ambitious young man who has a plan for a chain of motel/filling station establishments across the country. If he can only get a rich backer.

I think anyone who's seen enough Thirties screwball comedies knows exactly how this is going to end up. The film isn't quite on the level as My Man Godfrey or Libeled Lady, but it certainly is amusing enough. Especially when you consider both the leads were begging their boss not to keep giving them light stuff to do.

Most amusing performance however is that of Penny Singleton as the maid in the Winninger household. Powell's got the idea DeHavilland is the maid there, mainly because she gave it to him and to keep the act up, Singleton impersonates DeHavilland at dinner. She's got the best moments in the film because of that. Second best are Powell trying in various disguises to see Thurston Hall, an associate of Winninger.

The film is best known for Dick Powell introducing You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby on the screen, singing it to Olivia while rowing on Central Park Lake. For reasons unknown Powell never recorded this one. Bing Crosby has a primo version done for Decca in 1938.

Hard To Get today is remembered for the song that came from it and for the fact that two frustrated stars did some pleasant work here.


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