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SAFETY IN NUMBERS (1930)


Guest dredagain
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This Paramount musical from 1930 boasted the currently hot Buddy Rogers

when he emerged from the silents as a musical star (PARAMOUNT ON

PARADE, FOLLOW THRU). This is a sideways version of the GOLD DIGGERS

films with a trio of chorus girls on the loose and on the take (they

live in a swanky apartment). But the catch here is that the rich and

naive (think Dick Powell) Rogers is sent to live with them, with them

as chaperons! Each girl is paid $10,000 to chaperon Rogers until he

turns 21 and inherits $25 million.

 

Most of the song here are OK but nothing special. But "The Pick Up" is

terrific as it swings through the intro, a trombone solo by Rogers, and

an astonishing bit by Louise Beavers (as the maid Messalina). I never

heard her sing before. The song ends with a chorus line of silhouettes

dancing in front of a spinning New York skyline. An amazing number.

 

The chorines are played by Kathryn Crawford (who sings), Josephine Dunn

(an MGM starlet loaned out to Paramount), and Carole Lombard (of all

people). Others in the cast include Richard Tucker as the uncle,

Virginia Bruce as Alma, and Roscoe Karns as the cab driver.

 

Rogers has a pleasing singing voice but his acting is very shaky (yet

he is likable). Crawford looks rather dumpy. Lombard has the best line

readings and you can see her future great performances in this early

talkie.

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