Haines plays the role of a festive British nobleman, for whom a marriage has been arranged by his relatives. He goes to a European Summer resort and poses as a gigolo to meet the girl ...
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After World War I, a war hero returns to Berlin to find that there's no place for him--he has no skills other than what he learned in the army, and can only find menial, low-paying jobs. He decides to become a gigolo to lonely rich women.
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Two sailors are leaving the US Navy after 10 years. In their spare time, one of them (Haines) invents a carburetor that should increase the speed that powered boats will run, but all that ... See full summary »
Wallingford is a con-man whose specialty is taking money from suckers. His partners are Schnozzle, a pickpocket and car thief; and Blackie, who has played the game for years. Jimmy's latest... See full summary »
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Haines plays the role of a festive British nobleman, for whom a marriage has been arranged by his relatives. He goes to a European Summer resort and poses as a gigolo to meet the girl chosen, learn what she's like and to apply the "acid test".Written by
Richard Unger <DECOCHASER@aol.com>
According to MPAA/PCA files, this film was rejected by censors in Ireland, Nova Scotia and British Columbia for its treatment of "immoral sexuality". See more »
Lord Robert Brummel:
Give me this one evening. Let's slip away to some quiet place together. That quaint little inn in San Sebastian. A plane leaves at half past eight, Roxy. What do you say?
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In most of William Haines' films, he plays a man with incredible natural talents--be it as a soldier, a football player, a polo player or whatnot. Here in "Just a Gigolo" his talent seems to be women...and Lord Robert Brummel (Haines) is mistaken for a common gigolo. Since this is a pre-code film, there is lots to suggest but little is stated outright. A 'gigolo' is described as a man who takes money to dance with women....though most adults in the audience know this is code for a male prostitute. And, in usual William Haines style, he lets the lady believe that he's just a gigolo!
Casting Haines as a British lord did seem odd considering he sounds 100% American here. A Ronald Colman-type would have been more believable but MGM put Haines in this for one huge reason...he was a huge box office draw at the time. So, as was often the case, the role was expected to fit the actor instead of the other way around.
Despite Haines being wrong for the part, I really liked this film because unlike his other very formulaic films, this one is a comedy- -especially when the girl his character is chasing realizes who he is and decides to turn the tables on him. Clever and quite enjoyable.
By the way, as for Haines he only made a small handful of films after this. With the new Production Code of 1934, gays were now supposed to be DEEPLY in the closet and the openly homosexual Haines chose instead to walk away from films...and became a very successful interior decorator to the stars.
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