Sunday, July 31, 2011
Ginger Rogers Film Review #13 - Broadway Bad
Run Time (approximate): 60 Minutes
Directed by: Sidney Lanfield.
Scenarists: Maude Fulton and Arthur Kober.
Based on a story by: William R. Lipman and A. Washington Pezet.
Cinematography by: George Barnes.
Music: Arthur Lange (score), Hugo Friedhofer (orchestrator).
Also Starring: Joan Blondell (as Tony Landers), Ricardo Cortez (as Craig Cutting), Adrienne Ames (as Aileen), Allen Vincent (as Bob North), Francis McDonald (as Charley Davis), Fredrick Burton (as Robert North, Sr.), Ronnie Cosby (as 'Big Fella'), Donald Crisp (as Darrall).
UNCREDITED CAST: Eddie Berger (as Newsboy), Spencer Charters (as Lew Gordon), John Davidson (as The Prince), Betty Francisco (as Showgirl), Carmelita Geraghty (as Showgirl), Harold Goodwin (as Reporter), Henry Hall (as Bailiff), Eddie Kane (as Eddie Berger - Jeweler), Charlotte Merriam (as Showgirl), Geneva Mitchell (as Showgirl), Claudia Morgan (as Showgirl), Matty Roubert (as Newsboy), Margaret Seddon (as Bixby), Larry Steers (as Business Associate), Phil Tead (as Joe Flynn), and Max Wagner (as Reporter).
Ginger's Character: Flip Daly.
Ginger's 'Screen Time': Approximately 5 Minutes and 54 Seconds (9.9% of the film).
Gingery Goodness Factor (GGF) - (1-10): 7.0 - Pretty good Gingery stuff, as the 'sidekick' to Joan Blondell's Tony character - Flip, who gets a few zingers in here and there. Generally, tho, Ginger is the 'supportive friend', which limits the sassiness overall.
Film Quality (1-10): 7.0 - not restored, and not shown on any network I am aware of...a typical 'public domain' film...at best fair shape.
Available From: Internet (I got a copy from eBay).
Huey's Review for GINGEROLOGY: Broadway Bad is a fair little movie that centers on chorus girl Tony Landers (Joan Blondell) and her trials and tribulations. Ginger plays Flip Daly, who is Tony's roommate, fellow hoofer, and all-around best bud (BTW...who came up with these names? Tony and Flip? Aren't those dude names? I mean, I've heard of 'Toni' used for ladies, but 'Flip'? The only 'Flip' I know of is Flip Wilson...and he was a dude...well, unless he was in 'Geraldine' Mode..."What you see is what you GET, baby!"... er, y'all probably don't remember that... OK, mondo rabbit trail endeth HERE...well, here's a link to Geraldine...don't say I didn't warn you... Geraldine Diet 7-UP ).
Tony has a deadbeat husband (although he is from a wealthy family...which has pretty much disowned him...most likely due to his marriage to a chorus girl) who is a bit more than wary of Tony's new boss, Craig Cutting (Ricardo Cortez) - CC has quite a reputation for taking a 'personal interest' of the leading ladies of his production...although the truth is he is quite the gentleman.
As Tony is installed as the 'new' leading lady, of course the former one must step down - which in this case is Aileen (Adrienne Ames). Of course, Aileen isn't going quietly into that good night, so she decides to bust Tony's chops by making up stories of Craig's 'niceties', which in the process gets Tony all flustered, and Flip all cranked up...SassyGinger ensues as a result, with Flip going off on Ol' Ail.
Well, at this point Tony is pretty hesitant about the whole state of affairs, since although Craig has been the perfect gentleman, he has also 'bolstered' Tony's financial status with extra checks - hey, he's just a nice guy. Flip tries to put her at ease, and does a fair job of it.
At the 'aftershow party' (dang...they ALWAYS have those, don't they? When do these people in the 30's SLEEP?) at Craig's pad, Tony decides to ask him about the checks he has been ripping off for her, and wants him to give her the canceled ones...not sure why, except that maybe she doesn't want a 'paper trail' hanging over each of them. Well, of course, Tony's gooberhead hub shows up unannounced, and promptly grabs the checks, puts dos y dos together, and promptly files for divorce.
As a result, Tony is placed in a nice, albeit swarthy, position of being the 'UBER-Gold Digger' (Joan getting some practice chops in for '33), with Craig elevating her whole portfolio to unprecedented levels, while all the time remaining a perfect gentleman.
Flip hangs in there as Tony's pal, even when Tony is pretty much shutting everyone else out of her life, even though she is the MAIN stage attraction for the next few years, racking up oodles of dough. The ulterior motive? Pretty good, as it turns out... Tony has a young un who is being cared for quite well...but of course, she doesn't want the child to be exposed the media, so she has him cared for at an 'undisclosed location'...well, gooberhead hub gets back on the scene, and basically kidnaps the kid, as he is in debt, and needs some dough... he ultimately takes Tony to court, saying she is an unfit mom, and he wants custody...and alimony to boot... and, that's about all I'll give you here, leaving the rest for you to discover.
Overall, a fair little movie, clocking in at an hour...Joan Blondell is very nice here... and of course, Ginger does her thing in a limited role.
Favorite Ginger Moments: This one is pretty easy...the scene with Ginger and Joan talking, just after 'Flip' busts Aileen's chops...they are both looking straight into the camera, as if they are looking into the mirror, putting makeup on (the SECOND movie in a row Ginger is putting goop on her face...) Just some neat dialogue, and really both are very fetching here, despite the makeup work...
We first meet Flip in the sack, taking messages for an absent Miss Landers...
...what kind of varmint is that upon the bed? Some kind of fuzzy pup, I surmise...
Flip and Aileen do NOT exchange Christmas cards, it's safe to say...
...Flip is about to trip...DANG, Ginger is so cute when she is angry...those eyes just light up! Think I've said that before, but hey, it bears repeating, IMHO...
...here we go... well, it's not too extensive, but Flip is close to the edge...Aileen walks away, much to her benefit...
Here we start the 'Huey's Favorite Scene' sequence... I cap'd a heap of pics from this scene, and I just can't see any that I don't want to post....they are ALL just awesome, of Ginger and Joan... Flip is basically reassuring Tony that Aileen is a yutz, Tony's hub is a gooberhead, Craig is really a pretty nice guy, and for her not to worry about folks 'talking'... but these pics are great...I'm just gonna shutup for a bit and let the pics speak for themselves, y'all...
...just something pretty dang cool about ladies getting ready, making up and all...for a guy, the process is quite mysterious, thus of interest (to me, anyway...especially when Ginger is involved! And Miss Blondell is a BIG bonus!)
...on to the shindig...where the band is loose and the bandleader is tight...
Flip can MC with the best of them, as she announces the band and location to all the folks in radioland...or in 'ryeland' in this case...
...if I had to have a 'bit role' in this film, this one would be it, of course...
Tony is rolling in the dough after the divorce (as a result of Craig keeping her happy, not from anything the hub had...), and Flip is the only person she confides in... this scene is the one where you see a lot of stills from, but the scene itself is pretty short (not unlike Ginger's outfit...yow!), and none of the stills out there seem to match the scene...thus they are 'publicity stills'... hey, as long as Ginger's in 'em, we can call them whatever!
...I just think this dress is cool on Ginger...as usual, eh?
This pic is when the gooberhead hub shows up to hassle Tony... Ginger is, well, Ginger, of course, and awesome looking, but my personal opinion is there's a BIT too much eye shadow here...or, heck, it could just be the 'seventy-year old film shadows' at work...
...Flip now in the courtroom where Tony's story is being spilled out for all to gawk over... hey, I just thought of this...maybe 'Flip' is Flip because of her hair style...I guess that is considered a 'flip', eh? Far be it from me to discern hair styles and their bearing on character names...but while we are on hair, what about the hair COLOR? It is VERY reddish here...not that there's anything WRONG with that...not at ALLLLL, y'all...
...The mother and child reunion is only a motion away...as Aunt Flip looks on...
"...The happy ending mostly concerns Miss Blondell and Mr. Cortez, with hisses for Miss Ames and Mr. Vincent. The role is one of Blondell's best, and she is ably supported by Mr. Cortez, Miss Ames and Ginger Rogers in parts of varying importance." - New York American
"Mr. Cortez is the most amusing of the players as the pleasantly cynical playboy with the evil reputation. Miss Blondell suffers the double burden of a foolish part and uncomplimentary photography. Ginger Rogers appears as a chorus girl with a sentimental streak." - New York Times
"Broadway Bad is a weak little chorus girl picture." - New York Sun
From GINGER: My Story: "With only a week's rest [from completion of 42nd Street], I immediately began Broadway Bad, with Joan Blondell and ably directed by Sidney Lanfield. Oddly enough, this little "B&B" had one of Hollywood's top photographers, George Barnes, as its cinematographer."
--- Joan Blondell replaced Joan Bennett in the role of Tony (short for 'Antoinette').
--- Film photographer George Barnes also happened to be Miss Blondell's hubby at the time.
--- The film was mentioned in the 2003 TV documentary "Complicated Women", described on IMDb as "A look at actresses who starred in films with thought-provoking subjects made between 1929 and 1934 - before the Hollywood Production Code was enforced." BTW - this sounds like a pretty cool doc - would like to see it sometime!
--- IMDb notes this film as being released before 42nd Street, but Ginger's bio and a few other sources note 42nd Street first, then 'BB'... Ginger may well be going with the 'production dates', as 42nd Street probably had a bit more editing before release...in any event, I'm sticking with the way Ginger lists them, right or wrong...cause Ginger is right, even when she's wrong!
GingerFilm Ranking: #9
After Twelve Reviews:
#01 - 42nd Street
#02 - The Tenderfoot
#03 - The Tip-Off
#04 - Queen High
#05 - Young Man of Manhattan
#06 - You Said A Mouthful
#07 - Carnival Boat
#08 - The Thirteenth Guest
#09 - Broadway Bad
#10 - The Sap From Syracuse
#11 - Suicide Fleet
#12 - Follow The Leader
#13 - Honor Among Lovers
#14 - Hat Check Girl***
*** - Not viewed due to unavailability.
Up Next: Gold Diggers of 1933... this is the one that has been vexing me as to its 'ranking' on the big board, as the first 5 or so minutes are arguably Huey's ALL-TIME favorite Ginger moments ever committed to film... but she just isn't in the movie much after that... Why oh WHY didn't they keep the 'Torch Song' number in there??? Well, we will sort it out for ya...