“You’re my pal, aren’t you? Don’t turn female on me!”
A reporter (Robert Williams) falls for and marries a blonde heiress (Jean Harlow), not realizing that his gal-pal (Loretta Young) has a crush on him.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Cross-Class Romance
- Frank Capra Films
- Jean Harlow Films
- Loretta Young Films
- Love Triangle
Frank Capra directed this pre-Code romantic comedy featuring a fine lead actor with a tragically short life: Williams (who I hadn’t seen in anything before this) seemed destined for some kind of stardom, given his natural ease and humor on-screen, but died of peritonitis four days after this film’s release. Meanwhile, 18-year-old Loretta Young is wide-eyed and luminous in her supporting role as Williams’ would-be girlfriend, and Harlow shows typically sassy charm. The storyline itself is a fairly standard tale of classes clashing (we can predict who will end up with whom), but it offers a few memorably nutty moments — most notably Williams and Harlow singing a variation on “The Farmer in the Dell” as Harlow insists to Williams, “You’re gonna be a good boy and wear garters!”, and the scene in which a butler (Halliwell Hobbes) attempts to demonstrate what “puttering” means to Williams.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Robert Williams as Stew Smith
- Jean Harlow as Anne Schuyler
- Loretta Young as Gallagher
- Some enjoyable “pre-Code moments”
- Joseph Walker’s cinematography
No, but it’s recommended for one-time viewing.