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Playing Around (1930)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama, Music | 19 January 1930 (USA)
New York girl has a dull boyfriend and seems destined for a dull marriage when she meets a rich playboy who has money to burn and places to go. She gets involved with the playboy and never ... See full summary »


Mervyn LeRoy


Frances Nordstrom (based on: "Playing Around": by), Viña Delmar (adapted from the story by: "Sheba") (as Vina Delmar) | 2 more credits »


Complete credited cast:
Alice White ... Sheba Miller
Chester Morris ... Nickey Solomon
William Bakewell ... Jack
Richard Carlyle Richard Carlyle ... Pa Miller
Marion Byron ... Maude
Maurice Black ... Joe
Lionel Belmore ... Morgan the Pirate
Shep Camp Shep Camp ... Master of Ceremonies
Ann Brody ... Mrs. Fennerbeck
Nellie V. Nichols ... Mrs. Lippincott
Learn more

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New York girl has a dull boyfriend and seems destined for a dull marriage when she meets a rich playboy who has money to burn and places to go. She gets involved with the playboy and never seems to notice that he might by shady, until he shoots her father in a cigar-store holdup! Written by Ed Lorusso

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


AMERICA'S GIRL FRIEND (original poster) See more »


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Did You Know?


In a separately filmed trailer, Vitaphone production reel #3688, Alice White talks to the audience about the picture. See more »

Alternate Versions

This movie was also released as a silent film, but no details are known. See more »


You're My Captain Kidd
(1929) (uncredited)
Written by Sam H. Stept and Bud Green
Performed by an unidentifed female singer and chorus at the nightclub
See more »

User Reviews

What fun...
6 September 2010 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

...as were most of Alice White's films. Alice would never win any acting awards, but the films she starred in during her brief reign over at First National exemplify the end of the Jazz Age. Alice's characters may have not had the best judgment or the best taste in men, but their intentions were always good, and that is the case here.

The film starts out in a nightclub named "The Pirate's Den". A big pirate-themed production number that looks like something that didn't make the final cut in Warner's revue "The Show of Shows" takes up the first five or so minutes - but Alice is nowhere in sight at this point. After the show is over, our stars appear. Sheba and Jack (Alice White and William Bakewell) are out for a night on the town, but Jack gets a headache when he looks at the prices on the menu. At the club at the same time is Nickey Solomon (Chester Morris) who seems to be a likable fellow who enjoys living well. However, he has one major character flaw - his profession is holdup man. Fortunately for the patrons of the club, this is his night off. He and Sheba meet when the club has a "legs contest" in which the female patrons are invited to participate. The curtain is lowered on the stage so you can just see the legs of the participants, and the girls then parade around the stage. Nickey is named judge, and he picks Sheba's legs as the winner(s). When the curtain is raised he sees the rest of Sheba and Nickey is quite taken by the entire package.

From this point on Nickey is wooing Sheba, and Jack, who is just a 35 dollar a week soda jerk, is having a hard time competing. The scale is weighed even more heavily in Nickey's favor due to the fact that he is a rather talented liar who has Sheba believing he is a successful businessman. Chester Morris was excellent at playing an evil guy with a nice guy facade, but here you never see the really nasty side of his nature except for one scene. Nickey makes one serious mistake for a holdup guy - driving your own car to robberies and then blowing its unique sounding horn.

This film has Alice singing only one number. Besides the opening production number there is another big costumed production number towards the middle of the film also staged at "The Pirates Den". The supporting roles are played well here too. There are a couple of older ladies that live across the alley from Sheba and her father that are always gossiping, and the part of Sheba's poor but loving father is played with heart by Richard Carlyle. Recommended for fans of early talkie fare if it ever crosses your path. In the 16 years I've been watching Turner Classic Movies I don't recall it ever being aired there.

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Release Date:

19 January 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Bela e o Fera See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Vitaphone) (Western Electric Apparatus)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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