6.3/10
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23 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.

Director:

Gregory La Cava

Writers:

Gregory La Cava (screen play), Corey Ford (screen play) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Lupe Velez ... Teresita
Lee Tracy ... Jimmy Bates
Eugene Pallette ... Achilles
Frank Morgan ... Merle Farrell
Shirley Chambers ... Gladys aka Ella Beebee
Franklin Pangborn ... Mr. Wellburton - Hotel Clerk
Robert McKenzie ... Colonel Munday
Mary Mason ... 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

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

16 December 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Phantom Fame See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

In the original script, Achilles ( Eugene Pallette ) was more specifically referred to as a eunuch, but the MPAA, in a letter to producer David O. Selznick suggested that word, as well as a few more sexually-suggestive lines, be removed. Thus, there are two attempts at getting that point across - during registration at the hotel and when Achilles speaks to the maid and she asks if he's a "different" kind of Turk. 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

James 'Jimmy' Bates: And one more thing, you give them what they think they want and they'll want what they think you give them. As we say in trigonometry, A-B-C ,1-2-3, 2 and 2 makes 4.
See more »


Soundtracks

The Wedding March
(1843) (uncredited)
from "A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.61"
Music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
In the score at the end
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mister Tracy & Miss Velez Paint The Town Red
11 May 2002 | by Ron OliverSee 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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