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23 user 10 critic

The Half-Naked Truth (1932)

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:

An astonishing comedy drama of the mad and amazing career of a famous press agent as revealed in the book "Phantom Fame". (Press Ad- Register-Herald, ((Pine Plains, NY)) 12 January 1933) 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

Because of Lee Tracy's absences and late arrivals on the set, RKO withheld $3500 from his salary and sued him for $10,000 which they alleged his actions cost them. It was settled out of court with RKO paying half his salary and, if he behaved himself, the other half would be paid as a bonus after he completed his next RKO picture, which turned out to be Wanted! Jane Turner (1936). Tracy requested and was paid the bonus after that film was completed. 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

Merle Farrell: Why doesn't somebody do something? Why doesn't the piano play the way I want it to play. When I want a yellow mood, why can't I have a yellow mood?
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

 
Showcase for A Great Comic Actor
21 June 2000 | by mark_r_harrisSee all my reviews

Lee Tracy, too little known today, is one of the all-time great comic actors and a personal favorite of mine. He was the original Hildy Johnson in The Front Page on Broadway and although his major films are not numerous, each is a delight. Blessed Event with co-star Dick Powell and Bombshell with co-star Jean Harlow are gems long beloved by Thirties film buffs, but even they may not have seen The Half-Naked Truth, which is a pure jolt of the Lee Tracy magic. His physical and vocal presence are uniquely and unmistakably his: the lankily elastic body, the whirling-dervish energy, the sarcastic tone, the long fingers that always seem to be jabbing in someone's direction. There's not another screen actor I can think of who has quite the manic joie de vivre of the young Tracy. In The Half-Naked Truth, he plays a carnival barker and theatrical promoter who will go to any insane lengths to hog headlines (a very contemporary figure for us!). He's paired with Lupe "Mexican Spitfire" Velez, who proves to be an extremely apt partner for him; you believe in these two together, and that makes their final scene surprisingly emotional. (Tracy's magnetism definitely has its romantic aspect; watching Bombshell, an audience can be driven to heights of frustration waiting for Tracy and Harlow to realize that they are, in fact, perfect for one another.) The wonderful ending of The Half-Naked Truth also crystallizes the Tracy credo in a single line: "What good is life if you don't get some fun out of it?" You can have some of that fun by watching this film.


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