Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
USA, 1932. Paramount Pictures. Screenplay by Vincent Lawrence, continuity by Kathryn Scola, based on the story Single Night by Louis Bromfield. Cinematography by Ernest Haller. Produced by William LeBaron. Costume Design by Travis Banton, Walter Plunkett.
So-so comedy that is lifted out of its mediocrity by the appearance of a debuting Mae West, who, as co-star George Raft put it, “stole everything but the cameras”. Raft plays a successful gangster who is tired of the seedy life that running a gambling joint provides and longs to enter high society. When he spots a lonely, ritzy young woman (Constance Cummings) drinking in his bar, he begins a romance with her in an effort to better his station that culminates in his inviting her to dinner with his elocution teacher (Alison Skipworth) in order to impress her with his newly classy ways. During the meal, however, proceedings are interrupted by Raft’s old galpal West, who shows up and pretty much kicks the movie into high gear with her rollicking attitude that is sassy, dangerous, and somehow also good-natured (“Goodness, what beautiful diamonds!” “Goodness had nothing to do with it, dearie!”). It’s a minor treat as a movie, but for West’s appearance alone it’s a milestone classic.