5.1/10
242
10 user 2 critic

God's Gift to Women (1931)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Romance | 13 April 1931 (USA)
A Parisian descendant of Don Juan vows to stop philandering in order to win the hand of a virtous young lady with a disapproving father.

Director:

Michael Curtiz

Writers:

Joseph Jackson (screenplay & dialogue), Raymond Griffith (screenplay & dialogue) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Frank Fay ... Toto Duryea
Laura La Plante ... Diane Churchill
Joan Blondell ... Fifi
Charles Winninger ... John Churchill
Alan Mowbray ... Auguste - Toto's Butler
Arthur Edmund Carewe ... Dr. Louis Dumont
Billy House ... Mons. Cesare
Yola d'Avril ... Dagmar
John T. Murray ... Mons. Chaumier, an Irate Husband
Louise Brooks ... Florine
Margaret Livingston ... Tania Donaliff
Armand Kaliz ... Mons. Rancour
Charles Judels ... Undertaker
Tyrell Davis ... Basil, called 'Pompom' (as Tyrrell Davis)
Eleanor Gutöhrlein Eleanor Gutöhrlein ... Maybelle - Party Girl (as Sisters 'G')
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Storyline

Contemporary Casanova Toto loves beautiful women and pursues them shamelessly. Then he falls in love with respectable Mary and realizes that to win her he must stop his philandering. But Mary has little confidence in Toto's resolve and concocts a plan of her own. Written by Chris Stone <jstone@bellatlantic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 April 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Devil Was Sick See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$220,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Vitaphone

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was originally completed as a musical, but due to audience interest in such film waning in the U.S., all of those numbers were cut in the U.S. release, but left intact for other countries. A print of the U.S. version has been preserved by the Library of Congress. See more »

Goofs

When Toto ushers Mr. Churchill out of a room to show him around, a moving shadow of the boom microphone is visible to the left of the door. See more »

Quotes

Fifi: There, now be quiet, dear and I'll be back in a jiffy.
Toto Duryea: Be back in a what?
Fifi: In a jiffy!
Toto Duryea: She's coming back in a jiffy, oh...
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Joan Blondell and Louise Brooks sprinkled in a pre-Code Michael Curtiz comedy?
14 November 2012 | by Jimmy L.See all my reviews

I thought this film was much better than its IMDb rating (4.9/10 at the time). It's an obscure early talkie, but it's mildly amusing and, at only 72 minutes, no great waste of time.

For movie buffs, the draw of this film is its cast and crew. It's one of Joan Blondell's early films and it's a rare opportunity to see iconic silent screen star Louise Brooks in a talkie. It's also one of the few films of popular vaudeville comedian Frank Fay. Familiar character actors like Alan Mowbray and Charles Winninger have supporting roles, and the whole thing is directed by the great Michael Curtiz (CASABLANCA).

GOD'S GIFT TO WOMEN (1931) is a comedy about romance. Frank Fay plays a modern-day Don Juan, a notorious Parisian playboy and ladies' man who is smitten with an American tourist. His high-living social crowd and various paramours complicate his efforts to win over the girl (and her father) and become a one-woman man. His situation gets tougher when he is diagnosed with an aneurysm that threatens his life if he is overly excited (i.e., "no more girls"). Would he go for that last kiss if he knew it would mean instant death?

Frank Fay gives a solid comedic performance, with his sort of off-the-cuff wit. He nimbly toes the line of pre-Code profanity, several times saying "Go to --" before abruptly switching gears. He's particularly funny once he learns he's a dying man. There's a fun scene where he quibbles with an undertaker about his funeral arrangements.

Laura La Plante is a nice-looking girl, but she just doesn't have "it" and she makes for a rather dull leading lady. Luckily she disappears for much of the second half of the film, allowing Curtiz to showcase Joan Blondell, Louise Brooks, and Yola d'Avril buzzing around Fay's bedroom in various states of dress (as they all come to nurse Fay back to health).

Joan Blondell is a favorite of mine and she sparkles in her secondary role, jumping on top of Frank Fay (who must avoid women, lest his aorta burst) when she finds him an uncooperative patient. Louise Brooks's name is almost lost in the middle of the cast list and she doesn't have a very big part, but she makes an impression in that bedroom farce scene with her alluring attire and screen presence.


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