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22 user 10 critic

The Half Naked Truth (1932)

Passed | | Comedy, Romance | 16 December 1932 (USA)
A barker at a down-at-the-heels carnival becomes a powerhouse New York publicity man as he transforms a sideshow dancer into a Broadway sensation.

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(screen play), (screen play) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Teresita
... Jimmy Bates
... Achilles
... Merle Farrell
... Gladys aka Ella Beebee
... Mr. Wellburton - Hotel Clerk
... Colonel Munday
... Miss Mason - Farrell's Secretary
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Storyline

A barker at a down-at-the-heels carnival becomes a powerhouse New York publicity man as he transforms a sideshow dancer into a Broadway sensation. Written by David S. Smith

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A million candle-power romance loaded with laughter (original ad) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

|

Release Date:

16 December 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Phantom Fame  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Composer Max Steiner plays the conductor of the Broadway show. (He also can be seen conducting the studio orchestra in the opening titles of RKO's "Girl Crazy" the same year). See more »

Goofs

Shirley Chambers' onscreen character name is "Gladys," but she says her name is "Ella Beebee." She is never called Gladys. See more »

Quotes

Achilles: [Noticing a young, attractive hotel maid] Say, girlie, I been watchin' you. What's a nice girl like you doing work like this for?
Gladys, aka Ella Beebee and Eve: Oh, I'm only doing this temporary. I'm going to be a secretary as soon as I learn to spell better.
Achilles: Oh, you oughta' be on the stage!
Gladys, aka Ella Beebee and Eve: I thought of that, too, but I never got around to it.
See more »

Soundtracks

Hootchie Kootchie
(uncredited)
Traditional
Danced by Lupe Velez
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User Reviews

 
Mister Tracy & Miss Velez Paint The Town Red
11 May 2002 | by See all my reviews

A carnival barker crashes onto Broadway, hoping to keep THE HALF NAKED TRUTH secret that both he and his ‘Turkish princess' are as phony as a three dollar bill...

RKO Studios produced this highly amusing, but rarely seen, comedy with flair, exuberance, and first-rate performances. Broadway is given a few lighthearted kicks in the shin by its cinematic cousin and a good time is had by all.

In the kind of role he could almost play in his sleep, Lee Tracy plays an over-the-top promoter who engages in wild escapades to get his ladies noticed by the press & public. He is conniving, untruthful & underhanded; he is also wonderfully funny. Tracy was the master at playing the anti-hero, the unromantic lover, the average-looking guy with the extra moxie it takes to get on top. Had his career not come crashing down around him due to a drunken indiscretion while filming in Mexico for MGM, he would probably today be remembered as one of Hollywood's top stars. As it is, he's lucky to be remembered at all.

Lupe Velez is a terrific foil for Tracy. The Tamale, as he calls her, is pungent, peppery & red hot. As a temperamental hootchy-kootchy dancer who makes it from a carny midway to the Great White Way, she is perfectly cast in what remains one of her best roles. It is sad, however, watching this lively lady, to remember that she would die despondent & alone in 1944, a suicide at 36.

Three top film comics help enliven the proceedings: gravely-voiced Eugene Pallette, who as Tracy's sidekick must impersonate eunuchs & nudists to further the scam; unctuous Franklin Pangborn as an officious hotel clerk; and blustery Frank Morgan as an imperious theatrical impresario who finds himself the target of Tracy's wild schemes.

Movie mavens will recognize celebrated movie composer Max Steiner appearing unbilled as the orchestra leader during Lupe's Broadway rendition of ‘Hey, Mr. Carpenter.'


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