Too Hot To Handle

  • 1938
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Adventure, Comedy

Fast-paced action picture that takes great liberties with the way it really is in the world of newsreel photographers. Gable and Loy were already the top male and female stars of Hollywood's national polls and had just come off a far superior picture, TEST PILOT, but the sizzle from that carried over, and this one made more money than it may have deserved....read more

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Fast-paced action picture that takes great liberties with the way it really is in the world of newsreel photographers. Gable and Loy were already the top male and female stars of Hollywood's national polls and had just come off a far superior picture, TEST PILOT, but the sizzle from that

carried over, and this one made more money than it may have deserved. Loy is an Amelia Earhart-type aviatrix whose brother, Hines, has been lost in the dense Amazon jungles of the South American interior. She appeals to rival newsreel men Gable and Pidgeon to help her locate Hines, who has been

missing for about a year. Both agree for two reasons: it's a good story, and Loy is so attractive. They go to Brazil and, in a tiny village, they spot a local native who wears Hines' wristwatch. With the help of Carrillo, Gable's assistant, they learn that the native is part of a voodoo sect (we

always thought voodoo was unique to Haiti) that has Hines in captivity and is now seeking a white woman to complete their voodoo incantations. Loy is so eager to find her brother that she will do anything. Gable and Carrillo quickly take the native in a canoe to the village of the people who are

holding Hines. Once there, Gable and Carrillo sneak into the village where they see Hines, looking more dead than alive. In order to divert their attention, Gable projects some newsreels on the side of a smooth cliff. (Why he is carrying projection and sound equipment with him is never explained.)

Gable himself is in the newsreels, and the superstitious natives think he is the personification of magic when he steps out of the underbrush in the mustached flesh. Gable gets to the side of Hines, who is close to death from starvation and other travails. Later, Loy and Pidgeon arrive. By this

time, Gable is wearing the outlandish mask of a native shaman. He directs Loy and Pidgeon to carry Hines to their seaplane. Meanwhile, Carrillo is shooting footage of the action. Gable is then exposed by the native he'd met earlier in the village. Loy, Pidgeon, and Hines are safely aboard the

seaplane and taxiing for a take-off when Gable and Carrillo jump into a small boat, row to the plane, and grab onto the tail. Pidgeon doesn't realize that it's Gable and Carrillo, as they are covered with voodoo warpaint, so he fires at them, and they are forced to let go of the plane. Loy and

Pidgeon return to New York with Hines. Pidgeon is shocked to discover that Gable has already been there, and his footage of what happened is now in theaters across the U.S.; Pidgeon has been scooped badly. Gable is already on another assignment, and Loy, who is now in love with him, leaves Pidgeon

to join Gable. The picture actually begins to fall apart once they are in South America, because the first 30 minutes is a hysterically witty satire of how newsreel people set up "managed news" stories. In order to please the boss, Connolly, Gable and Carrillo are seen arranging phony bombing

raids in China, shooting "orphans," and taking pictures of model airplanes crashing. The story was by Hammond, an employee of a newsreel company; the screenplay was co-written by Stallings, a man who also did the same thing for a while. They knew of what they wrote but went far afield in several

ways to show how fraudulent the "news" can be at times. Conway directed at a Hawksian clip which almost made up for the silly transitions and the plot holes.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Fast-paced action picture that takes great liberties with the way it really is in the world of newsreel photographers. Gable and Loy were already the top male and female stars of Hollywood's national polls and had just come off a far superior picture, TEST… (more)

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