Wednesday, May 21, 2003


A strong supporting cast is wasted in this weak comedy. Marion Davies plays a hick from the sticks who comes to New York City for no apparent reason other than to be the protagonist of the movie. She gets a job as a maid at a fancy hotel, working with Patsy Kelly. They strike up a friendship of sorts with two guys, Pat O'Brien and Frank McHugh, who are fast running out of money and face eviction. In a farfetched scheme, the group creates a composite photo from the faces of Garbo, Dietrich, Harlow, and Kay Francis to enter in a radio beauty contest and the ficticious creation wins first prize. The two guys and McHugh's girlfriend (Mary Astor) rake in the bucks making endorsement deals until aviator Dick Powell proposes to the girl (named Dawn Glory) over the radio and they have to come up with a flesh-and-blood Miss Glory. They get Davies to impersonate the photo which leads to various shenanigans involving reporters, gangsters, and competing yeast companies. The farcical proceedings eventually become tedious, but aside from the bland Davies, the cast is fun to watch. Lyle Talbot is a reporter, Lionel Stander is a lug who is sweet on Davies, and Allen Jenkins and Barton MacLane are the gangsters. Al Shean, a vaudeville mentor to the Marx Brothers, plays one of the yeast company presidents. Powell has a couple of songs, one of which he sings from inside a picture frame as Davies fantasizes about him. Astor is misused (could you ever picture her being romantically involved with someone like Frank McHugh?), but is still a bright spot. Silly and overlong, but a chance to see a solid cast of supporting players.

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