Monday, February 18, 2008


Another Marion Davies film from her heyday, this one a variant on the romantic comedy theme made popular by the Warner Bros. "Gold Digger" series a few years later. Davies plays the last remaining original member of a famous chorus girl contingent called the Florodora Girls (a real group of performers who had at least one hot record in their day). The others all left to get married to rich men, but Davies, a knockout, just can't find a serious suitor. She dates a nebbish (George Chandler) who works at a cigar store but who clearly isn't husband material. Her friends advise her to play hard-to-get games to get noticed, so she catches the eye of young playboy Lawrence Grey by pretending to be drowning at a beach. It works and they begin dating, but matters are complicated by: 1) Davies' alcoholic father; 2) Chandler's employer (Sam Hardy), a high-profile but sleazy gambler who takes a shine to Davies; 3) Grey asking Davies to be "kept" by him in her own apartment; 4) Grey's own gambling habit which eventually ruins his family. The light story takes an Edith Wharton-ish turn when Grey's mother asks Davies to give Grey up so he'll be free to marry into a rich family; she agrees to, but in a rather abrupt ending, everything turns out OK for the pair a few months later when Grey invests in the new-fangled "horseless carriage." As in PEG O' MY HEART, Davies is alright but nothing special, though she's good looking and vivacious enough that I had a hard time buying the premise that her character didn't always have a stream of eligible men at her stage door. Claud Allister does his usual flaming silly prat role and Walter Catlett has a running gag in which he follows Davies around at a party to attend to her malfunctioning dress zipper. There are several songs throughout, all performed on stage, and one odd number featuring a male chorus singing about dreaming about a man. [TCM]

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