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Ex-Bad Boy (1931)

Passed | | Comedy, Romance | 15 July 1931 (USA)
A man gets in trouble with his girlfriend when a beautiful movie star and her fiance come to his small town.


Vin Moore


Anita Loos (story "The Whole Town's Talking"), John Emerson (story "The Whole Town's Talking") | 2 more credits »


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Cast overview:
Robert Armstrong ... Chester Binney
Jean Arthur ... Ethel Simmons
Jason Robards Sr. ... Roger Shields
Spencer Charters ... Henry Simmons
Grayce Hampton ... Mrs. Simmons
Lola Lane ... Letta Lardo
George Brent ... Donald Swift
Mary Doran ... Sadie Bloom


A man gets in trouble with his girlfriend when a beautiful movie star and her fiance come to his small town.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


SKOJIGH! SPRALLIGT! SNURREIGHT! (original Sweden poster-all caps) See more »


Comedy | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

15 July 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Don Juan mot sin vilja See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


According to contemporary newspaper advertisements, this film and The Great Lover (1931) played on a double in some theaters in early 1932. See more »


Remake of The Whole Town's Talking (1926) See more »

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User Reviews

Not A Lost Film, But Should Be
16 August 2012 | by GManfredSee all my reviews

The website claims that this film is presumed lost. Would that that were true. "Ex-Bad Boy" has been restored by Universal for our viewing pleasure(!), and is based on a 1923 Broadway play by Anita Loos, and must have suffered a great deal in the transition. As presented on screen it is unfunny and implausible and becomes an excruciating 75 minutes before finally grinding to a halt.

The star of the picture is Robert Armstrong, who was to find fame two years later as Carl Denham, the impresario who brings King Kong to Broadway. Here he plays a slow-witted, withdrawn shop clerk to his boss, Spencer Charters. Caught in an affair, Charters asks him to take the fall and to portray himself as a ladies man who, in fact, has dated many Hollywood stars. Naturally, a Hollywood star comes to visit this small town, a star Charters had persuaded Armstrong to tell people he has dated.

Straight downhill from here, although the downhill trend had started much earlier. Armstrong is completely unsuited for his role and his severe overacting single-handedly sinks the whole far-fetched production. It is a movie which grates on the nerves as a result, and a good supporting cast, including Lola Lane and George Brent, suffers. Cast members all went on to bigger and better movies, but sometimes I think some 'lost' films should stay that way.

"Ex-Bad Boy" was shown at Capitolfest, Rome N.Y., 8/12 on a restored 35mm print.

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