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PLAYING AROUND (1930)


Guest dredagain

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Alice White stars as Sheba Miller, a girl who wants more out of life

than her soda-jerk boyfriend (William Bakewell) can give her. After

winning a leg contest at a nightclub called The Pirate Den, she catches

the eye of smooth talker Chester Morris, she starts dating him.

Bakewell hilariously comments that Morris dresses "like all his clothes

fit him." Morris also flashes money and drives a snappy roadster. All

these things are dear to White's heart. But then there is a neat plot

twist that changes everything.

 

White is adorable and gets to sing "You Learn About Love Every Day."

It's her only song but the nightclub acts singe a few more, including

"You're My Captain Kidd" and "That's the Lowdown on the Lowdown." By

1930 audiences were tired of backstage musicals so they moved the

numbers out front, which made them more realistic.

 

Morris and Bakewell are good, and then there's Marion Byron as the

jazzy phone operator in the office where White works. White and Byron

had also starred together in BROADWAY BABIES. Maurice Black is good as

Joe the Bartender who gets suckered by Morris. Richard Carlyle plays

White's father. And in a humorous tenement bit, Nellie Nichols and Ann

Brody play a pair of immigrant gossipers who hang out their windows and

exchange news in fractured English.

 

PLAYING AROUND was one of five films White starred in in 1930. In 1931,

she had her final starring role in THE NAUGHTY FLIRT.

 

Worth a look for Alice White and some snappy pre-Code dialog.

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I agree--fun films that don't get shown much. I got these for Alice White's granddaughter, along with SHOWGIRL IN HOLLYWOOD, SWEET MAMA and SWEETHEARTS ON PARADE. The latter is, unfortunately, a silent print, although I believe there is one sound print existing in a west coast film archive.

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