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Saturday, November 12, 2011

You Can't Beat Love (1937)

From RKO Pictures, this is a funny political comedy that came out in the summer of 1937, one of Joan's five films from that year. At only 62 minutes long, it was was part of a triple bill in New York, according to the NY Times review of the film.

Preston Foster plays a wealthy single socialite named "Jimmy Hughes" (perhaps a distant relative of Howard Hughes?). When we first meet him, we learn that he loves to sleeps late, has a butler named Jasper (Herbert Mundin) and doesn't have a care in the world. The opening scenes with Jimmy and Jasper are really funny. 

One day Jimmy finds himself in a rather unusual circumstance -  digging ditches with other laborers. But he's only doing it for money - some newspaper reporters dared him to work outdoors in his tuxedo for $500. The other workers taunt him for wearing his fancy duds ("Can I have the next dance?" one jokes), and when Jimmy breaks for lunch, Jasper sets up a table with champaign and caviar sandwiches!

Suddenly, the Mayor's campaign bus pulls up, hoping to earn the votes of the workers. A group of campaigners (including Joan) set up a table with free cake. Joan's character makes a speech urging everyone to re-elect the Mayor.

Preston Foster's Jimmy calls the mayor a fraud and says no one has the guts to oppose him. An aggravated Joan asks, "well why don't you do it?" Preston: "I think I will!". The rest of the movie is just as silly, and involves political mudslinging, mistaken identity, and a romance between Preston and Joan, who plays the mayor's daughter!
In one of the funniest scenes, the crooked chief of police hires a Mae West-like temptress named Bubbbles (Barbara Pepper) to seduce Jimmy and scandalize his campaign (the plot backfires).

The supporting cast includes Paul Hurst,
Barbara Pepper, and Herbert Mundlin

I enjoyed this movie, especially the supporting cast including Paul Hurst as Jimmy's bodyguard. He steals every scene. But I think I liked the first half of the movie better than the last half/ending.

Not on DVD or VHS, the movie sometimes plays on Turner Classic Movies.


Anonymous said...

Those DeHaviland girls sure were pretty. Even in their old age, they are still beauties. I saw a video of Olivia in 2012 and she still looks gorgeous at 96yrs. It's not easy to decide who has the most beauty. I just saw a film with Joan called, "The Affairs of Susan." In some shots, she looks so much like her sister. What beauties! Wish those two would put the past behind in their old age and be reconciled. It's the spiritual thing to do.

Tom said...

Hi Anon, thanks for visiting!


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