6.9/10
523
11 user 9 critic

Hard to Handle (1933)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 28 January 1933 (USA)
Small time con artist Lefty Merrill has co-organized a crooked dance marathon and set-up his girlfriend to win the prize money. When his partner disappears with money before the contest is ... See full summary »

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(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Ruth Waters
...
Radio Announcer
...
Lil Waters
...
Marlene Reeves
...
Charles Reeves
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Storyline

Small time con artist Lefty Merrill has co-organized a crooked dance marathon and set-up his girlfriend to win the prize money. When his partner disappears with money before the contest is over, he's forced to come up with a series of cons to help pay it back. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Movies' Prodigal Son-of-a-Gun is back again! Faster and funnier than "Winner Take All" and "Blonde Crazy"! Caveman Cagney turns on the heat! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

28 January 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Bad Boy  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$189,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

'Mary Brian (I)' replaced Carole Lombard, who refused the role. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the dance marathon Lefty says that the prize money (10 $100 bills) is fresh from the US Mint. The US Mint produces coins. Paper money is produced by the Bureau of Printing and Engraving. See more »

Quotes

Lefty Merrill: What do I know about grapefruit? I never even saw a grapefruit!
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Soundtracks

Grapefruit Acres
(1933) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Al Dubin
Played by a radio orchestra and sung by an unidentifed man
Played as background music often
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User Reviews

 
Precode features the boundless energy of James Cagney
3 July 2011 | by See all my reviews

This is a great little film that demonstrates everything that was fun about the Warner Brothers precodes. There are dance marathons, scams aplenty with Cagney's character at the center of them all - sometimes knowingly sometimes not, and that precode actress you'd just love to strangle - Claire Dodd.

Ruth (Mary Brian) is in love with Cagney's character, but Ruth's gold-digging mother Lil (Ruth Donelly) wants to make sure Ruth marries money. When Cagney is doing well, Lil's all for him as a future son-in-law. When he's not, she's after a photographer - " a 25000 dollar a year man" - as she describes him. The girls dress alike and Lil is always referring to herself and her daughter as "we", as in "we love you" or "we can't marry a pauper like that". Cagney plays an advertising promoter whose ideas sometimes work and sometimes don't, but always to comic effect. This film is not on DVD or VHS, so chances are you've never heard of it. Another interesting tidbit - Ruth Donelly and Mary Brian are actually only about ten years apart in age, yet play mother and daughter pretty effectively. Highly recommended for the silliness of it all.


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