A pale imitation of several movies, most notably IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934) and NOTHING SACRED (1937) with a little bit of LOVE IS NEWS (1937) thrown in for bad measure. Bruce is a wealthy heiress, the granddaughter of department store mogul Gillingwater, who keeps a tight rein on her.
When Gillingwater goes off to Europe on a business trip, Bruce tells her yacht captain to leave the South of France area and steam for New York right away. The idea of taking this relatively small ship across the Atlantic is big news, and New York newspaper editor Pallette deploys March, his top
man, to be waiting at the dock when Bruce arrives. March and his photographer Lake get to the pier as the boat is waiting to clear customs and quarantine. Lake meets Bruce, and she spots him as a newsman right away, so she tells him that she is the maid and that her maid, Granstedt, is the
heiress. Lake falls for it and Bruce uses the device to get away. When March begins to interview Granstedt, he realizes that he's been fooled. He runs after Bruce and sees just a quick glimpse of her as she escapes. Bruce is one of those very rich people who doesn't ever know how much money she
has in the bank or in her pocketbook. (There is always someone else around to fork over cash when she needs it.) She's enjoying the feeling of being one of the people of the city. Bruce enters a cafeteria, uses her final coins to buy a cup of coffee, and meets Kelly (who was about 35 pounds
thinner than she was in her last movie and looked wonderful), a wisecracking department store clerk with a heart of gold. Kelly feels sorry for Bruce (not knowing her real identity). Knowing how it is to be out of money and have no place to live, she invites Bruce to bunk with her and her
roommate, Carroll, until she can land a job. Carroll meets Bruce, hates her at first sight, resents the fact that Kelly has brought home a third person to live in the cramped flat, and retaliates by gathering her small wardrobe and other gear and exiting in a huff. Kelly helps Bruce get a job at
the large department store owned by Bruce's grandfather. Bruce is working in cookwear, Kelly demonstrates weight-reducing equipment, and Carroll sells perfume. When Carroll's beau, Bacon, indicates more than a floorwalker's interest in Bruce, Carroll gets yet more irritated. Meanwhile,
March--frustrated by missing Bruce at the docks--decides to write a story about the plight of struggling salesclerks compared with the posh existence of such society damsels as Bruce. He goes to the department store and spots Bruce immediately, then uses Kelly's introduction to meet her. Bruce
finds March attractive; they go out and have dinner, then go ice skating. (There's a very funny sequence here as an unbilled acrobatic skater does a drunk routine on the ice.) Carroll discovers Bruce's true identity and tells Gillingwater about it. Gillingwater's men go looking for Bruce in the
store, but she's at home with Kelly, who tells her that she must leave right away or risk being discovered. Bruce phones March, and he takes her to a shack he keeps as a retreat on a small island near the city. They fall in love while hiding out, causing March to decide against writing the expose
on the heiress. Pallette wants the story, but March tears it into little pieces and quits the paper. Pallette and his staff patch and tape the strips of paper together and the story is printed, causing embarrassment to Bruce. Gillingwater, who has been worried sick about Bruce's disappearance,
contacts Pallette and demands to know where she is. Pallette has a hunch Bruce might be with March at the shack and gives the old man the location. With Lake leading Gillingwater and his aides, they arrive at the island. Bruce has seen the story and is livid. March, carrying a marriage license for
them, doesn't know that his story was printed. When he gets there, Bruce tells him off and leaves with Gillingwater, not allowing March a word to explain what must have happened. Kelly knows that the two love each other and can't bear the thought of them apart, so she and her boy friend, Mowbray,
send each of them a telegram requesting a meeting at the shack. Bruce and March arrive simultaneously. The reconciliation is effected and a minister, Langdon, walks in and says that he would be delighted to make the two of them one as the movie fades.
Harry Langdon hadn't been seen in a feature for about six years and does a neat turn as the baby-faced minister. Carroll, who had co-starred with March seven years before in THE NIGHT ANGEL, was in her penultimate film at the early age of 34. She began her film career in 1927's LADIES MUST DRESS
and was Oscar-nominated for THE DEVIL'S HOLIDAY in 1930, losing to Norma Shearer for THE DIVORCEE. March was wrong for the part and he knew it. His performance showed it as he went through the motions of playing a Cary Grant-type role. Kelly is by far the comedy highlight; her scene as she
demonstrates the vibrating weight-loss machine is a riot. There are several amusing moments in the movie, all of which would have been funnier if we hadn't seen the basic story before. "The newsman and the heiress" had been used so often that it was already a tired premise back in 1938, and no
amount of excellent direction by McLeod could save it. The story, such as it was, had been written by Broadway columnist Ed Sullivan, who later hosted one of the most successful TV variety shows in history and gave the first big break to scores of performers who would later light up the show
business world. Hatley's music was nominated for an Oscar.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: A pale imitation of several movies, most notably IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934) and NOTHING SACRED (1937) with a little bit of LOVE IS NEWS (1937) thrown in for bad measure. Bruce is a wealthy heiress, the granddaughter of department store mogul Gillingwater… (more)