Monday, August 4, 2008

The Girl Said No (1930) Film Review

Watched three films today starring comic actress Marie Dressler, a day of her films being featured on TCM. First up, "The Girl Said No".
Plot Summary - "The Town Cut-Up". William Haines appears as Tom Ward, recent college graduate - a flamboyant, wild, cocky jokester who is immature, loud and *plenty* obnoxious. He hangs with a lively young crowd who like to go out drinking and partying - one evening a former fellow student, disliked for his straight A's, arrives at the nightclub his gang are at, accompanied by a beautiful blonde named Mary (Leila Hyams). Tom is immediately all over this poor gal, grabbing her, forcing kisses on her, he even brings her to tears. He tells her "she's passing up a good bet" (ha!). The next day he arrives at the office where she works as a secretary and continues to badger her - she hates him, but - of course - in the way often seen in filmland, she starts to secretly sort of like him. Amazing. Tom actually gets hired at her office as a bond salesman, his career throughout the film seems to be on very shaky ground (it's sort of hard to follow what job or lack of job he currently has at any particular point) - and she continues to push him away, though he continually proclaims his "love" for her. When trouble comes to his family and money is hard to come by, Tom tries to grow-up - but he seems nearly the same as always to me (angrily throwing a phone through a glass door because of jealousy - not exactly mature).

Review - I thought this film was reasonably entertaining. William Haines, who started his career in the silent era, is quite good in this - his character is very unlikable I thought - and Haines, usually playing a more appealing (though often cocky) personality, does a really good job in bringing that to life. Marie Dressler practically steals the show in a short but memorable scene where she plays a wealthy woman being treated by Haines, who, posing as a doctor, doses her with alcohol to get her to buy one of his bonds. Rating - 7 stars

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