After Gaynor and Farrell's great success as a team in silent movies, the US eagerly awaited their first talkie; audiences were not disappointed. There had been several sound musicals by this time, most of which were "backstage" stories. This film attempted to break away from the cliche and
establish a cliche of its own. They took a standard "Cinderella" tale, added some tunes by De Sylva, Brown, and Henderson (who had a movie made about their lives in 1956, THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE FREE), and one bizarre, spectacular production number that was partly tinted in "Multicolor" and
had the patrons lining up in droves to plunk down their cash. Farrell is a member of the snobbish 400 in New York, the heir to huge wealth and a bit of a stuffed shirt at first. He is vacationing for the summer at Southampton, strumming his ukulele and living the life Riley would like to live, if
he had Farrell's family's money. Gaynor is a poor shopgirl who dwells in a rundown tenement in the city and is apparently happy with her lot. The two meet, and he falls hard for her and wants to make her part of his life, over and above the disdain of his snooty pals and the icy mien of his
mother, Forbes. In order to perpetrate the charade that she is as wealthy as he is, Gaynor enlists the aid of her friends, White, Brendel, and Richardson, to pose as her personal maid, her valet, and her chauffeur, respectively. Meanwhile, Farrell is being pursued by Lynn, a flapper in the same
social circle, and it seems as though she will eventually put her talons into him. The relationship between Farrell and Gaynor is almost severed until she performs at a charity ball and he comes to the realization that she is the woman for him. Lots of music and production numbers which include:
"I'm a Dreamer" (Gaynor), "If I Had a Talking Picture of You" (Gaynor, Farrell, then reprised by children in a kindergarten class), "You've Got Me Pickin' Petals off o' Daisies" (Richardson, White), "It's Great to Be Necked" (White, in a parody of Harry Lauder's material), "You Find the Time, I'll
Find the Place" (Lynn), "Sunny Side Up" (Gaynor), and the huge production number, "Turn on the Heat" wherein 36 comely women, led by Lynn, are dressed like Eskimos. Their igloos melt, they doff their furs, and the frozen set becomes the tropics, with palm trees rising full-grown from the ground.
Eventually the whole thing catches on fire, and the women dive into a swimming pool. Busby Berkeley would have loved this number as staged by Seymour Felix. The fact that Gaynor and Farrell had very little musical talent didn't disturb audiences who were just happy that their voices had any
quality at all. Joe E. Brown chimes in with some good comedy as a lower East Side undertaker who handles the MC chores for the street's block party.
Cast & Details See all »
- Rating: NR
- Review: After Gaynor and Farrell's great success as a team in silent movies, the US eagerly awaited their first talkie; audiences were not disappointed. There had been several sound musicals by this time, most of which were "backstage" stories. This film attempted… (more)