Eddie Hall and his partner Slim are a pair of nickel-and-dime con men on the hustle. Nearly caught by the police, Eddie ducks into Ruby Adams's apartment and convinces her to hide him. Ruby isn't averse to taking advantage of the gullible herself and has even tried to manipulate money out of Al, the square shooter from Cincinnati who adores her. Ruby and Eddie hit it off, but when Eddie accidentally kills a drunk who was pawing Ruby, he takes off and she ends up in a women's reformatory, where she discovers she is pregnant. Devastated at the thought that Eddie has deserted her, she doesn't realize that Eddie has undergone a great change--one that will have a powerful impact on her.Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
Two Dynamite-Charged Personalities! They clash! They clinch! A platinum cyclone meets a dimpled hurricane! And you go into a whirl! (Print Ad-Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,((Pittsburgh, Penna.)) 7 July 1933)
When Eddie is looking around Ruby's apartment, waiting for his clothes to dry, he spots a pennant on the wall that says "Albany Night Boat". That refers to the steamships that would depart New York City in the early evening for an overnight trip up the Hudson River to Albany. The ships had hundreds of staterooms and were often used - as the film's contemporary audience would know - for romantic getaways or illicit affairs. The pillow Eddie sees next may also have been a souvenir from the ship as it's inscribed "We're here today/Tomorrow we're through. So let's be gay. It is up to you." Such trips peaked in the early 20th century, but started to decline in the 1930's when less costly, speedier, and more efficient modes of transportation by rail and automobile came to the fore. By the 1940's, the Albany Night Boat had virtually ceased to exist. See more »
When Al and Ruby go to the Elite nightclub, as they are talking about her "lost" purse, the position of the ashtray on the table in the foreground keeps changing between shots. See more »
Clark Gable plays a con man who busts into the life of hard-boiled dame Jean Harlow. He tries to sucker her while she brushes him off with her tough-gal attitude. Despite their cynicism and cons they fall in love. When Gable accidentally kills a man during a sting he runs out leaving loyal Harlow to women's prison where she discovers she's pregnant. Anita Loos' and Howard Emmett Rogers' writing is excellent throughout with many well-drawn and surprising characters (including a Jewish socialist woman inmate and a black woman inmate and her preacher father played with hardly a trace of stereotype). Gable and Harlow show their mettle as actors adding telling nuances and quirks to their characters that send them beyond the typical Gable and Harlow roles. And the direction is much better than you'd expect from Sam Wood. One beautiful shot has Harlow being inducted into the prison, then led out into a surprisingly snowy courtyard as the camera tracks after her. This is one of the best of both the "criminals in love" and "women's prison" genres and has some of the best hard-boiled dialogue ever written.
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