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Lively, well-made programmer from lowly Monogram, with a great look at how telephoning used to work. Get a load of the old-time technology, back when calls had to go through switchboards with operators to plug you in to your party, maybe requiring row after row of nimble fingered women. It's quite a sight and contrast to today's magical cell-phones.
Seems Red and humorous sidekick Shorty are linemen who keep the phone lines operating across long distances. It's a heckuva job, climbing high poles in all kinds of weather. Plot-wise Red's got a crush on cutie operator Helen who's plenty distant at first. But of course things warm up when they battle to keep lines working during a monster rain and flood.
Happily, there's plenty of snappy dialog as the characters bounce off one another before settling down, while director Pembroke keeps things moving. Then too, the raging flood footage blends in skillfully with the dramatics to create a bigger budget effect. And catch the artful rising water in the phone office; that had to be studio sets, but you'd never know it. The humorous asides are also well modulated and smoothly inserted. It helps too, that the actors appear geared into their roles, especially Allen who centers the film.
All in all, for a programmer, it's extremely well-crafted, showing that budget need not determine quality when, thanks to a common effort, the elements come skillfully together.
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