Wednesday, April 13, 2016


Ann Sothern is a gold-digging model who isn't having much luck finding a rich husband; she's casually dating a baron (Erik Rhodes), but though pleasant, he's not really very romantic. She also doesn't think much of the male models she sometimes works with—"Million dollar profiles and dollar & a quarter brains," she says. One day while on assignment on a yacht being rented out by Eric Blore, she mistakes Gene Raymond (a blond guy with, indeed, a nice profile) for a model, but he's actually the millionaire owner of the yacht and Blore is his valet. Despite being bad-mouthed by Sothern, Raymond falls for her and keeps up the subterfuge of being a model, going so far as to have Blore front a fake ad agency so he can hire Sothern to model with him. Soon, in spite of herself, Sothern starts liking Raymond, and the second half of the movie has a screwball feel to it. In a very amusing and fairly sexy scene, Raymond admits to a fear that he'll go bald, so she puts mange cure in his hair, then has to shampoo it out (pictured at left). This brings her conflicts to the forefront and she gets a little spooked. In the end, Raymond pretends he's tried to kill himself to get her once and for all.

That fake suicide plot is a little creepy, especially when he smears ketchup on his head to simulate a gunshot wound. Even creepier, she figures out what's going on when she tastes his blood. But this is generally a nice little romantic comedy, which might be said to be a forerunner of the full-fledged screwball comedy genre. Both Sothern and Raymond are fine, and both characters act in equally reprehensible ways—she's a mass of prejudices and he's a conniving trickster—so they really deserve each other. Raymond even gets to sing a song, "Will You?" which he wrote. The supporting cast comes right out of an Astaire/Rogers movie: Helen Brodrick is dry fun as Sothern's sister, Erik Rhodes does his exotic but stuffily formal playboy bit very nicely. But much of this winds up being Eric Blore's show—I think this is the biggest role I've seen him play and he makes the most of it. I also got a big kick out of a trick cigarette box of Raymond's that shoots a cigarette out right between his lips. Minor fun, and for Blore fans, a must. [TCM]

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