Reaching for the Moon (1930) - Lots of racy dialogue in this Pre-Code musical comedy from Irving Berlin and Edmund Goulding, released by United Artists. Douglas Fairbanks Sr. stars as financial wiz Larry Day, a devil-may-care bon vivant with a love of life but inexperienced in the ways of women. His worldly valet Roger (Edward Everett Horton) decides to teach Larry how to win the girl of his dreams, and when Larry finds her in the person of aviatrix Vivien Benton (Bebe Daniels), he follows her on an ocean cruise. But will the fluctuations in the stock market put an end to Larry's wealth and appeal? Also featuring Claud Allister, Jack Mulhall, Walter Walker, June MacCloy, Helen Jerome Eddy, Dennis O'Keefe, and Bing Crosby.
This was a troubled production, with Berlin walking out on the film before completion and later disowning it in interviews. A preview screening proved disastrous, and many of the songs were cut, including one sung by Fairbanks. That being said, there are still things to like here, such as Fairbanks's manic performance. He was 47 at the time, but was still in amazing physical condition, playing one scene with his shirt off, and doing a lot of acrobatic climbing and swinging around on the sets. The idea of Fairbanks needing instruction on loving women from Edward Everett Horton is a real howler. I also liked seeing the 27-year-old Bing Crosby making his solo film debut (he had earlier appeared in 2 other films as part of the Rhythm Boys). 6/10
Source: Mill Creek Classic Musicals box set.