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In 1928, Big Ed Hanley, boss of a gang of Chicago racketeers, has money and power, but he is bored. Watching some kids play in the park, he sees Ruth Manning and is interested at once. He tells her he has a couple of kids and gives her the job of taking care of them. He moves Mamie in as a housekeeper, but the best he can scrape up as a son is Harry, a pint-sized monster. A couple of henchmen sent by to rub Big Ed out by his rival, Pretty Willie, are relieved of their hardware by Quentin, Ed's butler, and Bugs, his right-hand man. They march them downstairs, supposedly to drop in the river, but actually leave them in a very nice jail maintained by Ed for gangsters who drop by to rub him out. Ed's problems include keeping Ruth, who has begun to like him, from finding out about his activities, increasing his family and keeping uninvited guests from dropping by. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Paul Douglas has tailor-made role in fluffy comedy...
LOVE THAT BRUTE is a comedy tailor-made for the unique talents of PAUL DOUGLAS as a soft-hearted gangster with designs on a pretty governess (JEAN PETERS) who's willing to take on the job of supervising his rebellious son (PETER PRICE), actually a relative Douglas gets to pose as his son so that he'll have an excuse to hire Peters. Price gets the most laughs with his tough guy lines, sounding an awful lot like "Lampwick" to Pinnochio.
For added amusement, JOAN DAVIS, ARTHUR TREACHER and CESAR ROMERO have some snappy bits of business--although the script never gives any of them the chance to really do their stuff.
There's some nice chemistry between Douglas and Peters, but they don't make a believable romantic pair and this has its drawbacks since the whole story concerns Douglas and his obsession for the pretty governess with show biz ambitions. He uses his influence to get her a job as a singer in a nightclub he owns--and the resultant musical number, while not exactly perfect, shows that Peters had more sides to her personality than the role really suggests. Good choreography makes the sequence amusing and pleasant enough to watch.
Biggest scene stealer is Price, with some sharp grown-up observations to go along with his tough guy facade. Story develops at a fast pace and leads to a good payoff for crime boss Romero revealed to be the brute responsible for a number of gangland deaths.
Summing up: Good mixture of comedy and gangster crime circa 1920s Chicago.
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