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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Bad Girl (1931)

A model (Sally Eilers) who thinks all men are on the make finds herself attracted to a man (James Dunn, A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN) who won't giver her a tumble. They eventually marry but a series of misunderstandings threaten to derail the marriage. Based on the novel and play by Vina Delmar, director Frank Borzage won his second Oscar for BAD GIRL (it also got a best picture nomination) but it's really not one of his best films. The title is a misnomer. Eilers isn't a bad girl at all and the film's provocative poster suggests a far more salacious movie than it is. The majority of the film's running time is devoted to misunderstandings between Eilers and Dunn about what each wants out of the relationship. Watching it, all one can think is that if they would only just talk to each other, the air would be cleared and everything would take care of itself. But then, of course, there would be no movie, would there? The movie may be a pre-code production but the film itself is considerably cleaned up from the book (dealing with pre-marital sex and pregnancy) which was considered so risque that it was banned in Boston. With Minna Gombell as the wisecracking best friend.

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