She Couldn't Take It

  • 1935
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Comedy

It was around this time that gangster movies and screwball comedies were tilting for the movie-goer's dollar, so Columbia decided to combine the two and do a screwball gangster comedy. Connolly is a rich banker who is nailed by the IRS for fiddling with his income tax and sent to the federal pen at Atlanta. His madcap family's spending is what got him in...read more

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It was around this time that gangster movies and screwball comedies were tilting for the movie-goer's dollar, so Columbia decided to combine the two and do a screwball gangster comedy. Connolly is a rich banker who is nailed by the IRS for fiddling with his income tax and sent to the

federal pen at Atlanta. His madcap family's spending is what got him in trouble, and he welcomes the respite and a chance to sort things out in the confines of the prison. Once there, he meets Raft, a convicted bootlegger, who has taken the opportunity to invade the jail's library and educate

himself. Raft, like many criminals, is a conservative type, and he plans to tread the straight and narrow once he gets out. Connolly is so taken by Raft that he names him trustee of his fortune and executor of his will; then Connolly promptly keels over with a coronary. Raft comes out of jail to

meet his new responsibilities. Burke is Connolly's addle-pated widow and her daughter, Bennett, proves that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Both women are angered that they are now in the hands of Raft, a one-time criminal, and they take steps to make his life difficult. Bennett is

dating Mowbray, a phony actor-type who is little more than a gigolo. She tries everything to annoy Raft, but he stays cool and amused at her antics, eventually throwing her into the lake in Central Park and frightening Mowbray out of her life. As revenge, blonde Bennett contacts Nolan, a hood, to

stage a phony kidnaping. Then Nolan thinks it might be a good idea to actually nab the heiress and he does, forcing Raft to steal a car from the police, race after the kidnapers in a Keystone-Kops-like chase and save her. At the conclusion, Bennett comes to understand that Raft is a hell of a

macho guy and probably the only man in New York who can make her toe the line. The picture could have been much funnier if they'd gone all the way and made it a full slapstick farce, but they were too timid and Raft's comedic ability had not yet been proven (actually, it never was), so they held

back. It's a variation on Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew," except that Bennett is not shrewish enough. In a tiny role as a newsboy, note Oscar Rudolph, who grew up to become one of Hollywood's most successful TV directors in the 1950's and 1960's. Even though this was an original Garrett

screenplay, it feels very much like a Damon Runyon story.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: It was around this time that gangster movies and screwball comedies were tilting for the movie-goer's dollar, so Columbia decided to combine the two and do a screwball gangster comedy. Connolly is a rich banker who is nailed by the IRS for fiddling with hi… (more)

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