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Yet there is a careful reserve about him, a latent philosopher, and a wonderful unshaven virility that attracts the audience, and soon, Carole Lombard. She is first awed by him, and smitten, especially when he backs Gail Patrick into a pile of ashes. Carole’s delight at seeing her sister humiliated, as well as her more sensitive and shy request that Powell be her forgotten man, makes Mr. At the party he sees the wealthy class in an orgy of junk collecting to win a prize.
Gail is a haughty, arrogant rich brat who irritates Powell with the condescending offer of to Powell if he will accompany her back to the Waldorf to be inspected by the prize committee as a genuine bum. He finds himself put on display, a little like a slave at a slave market when Franklin Pangborn strokes his cheek to see if the whiskers are real.
The lines are fast and furious, and funny, and subplots include Mr. Her incorrigible sweetness mixed with a cloying immaturity is a tough balance to maintain, but Carole Lombard does it well and probably better than anyone else could.
Powell’s plan to rehabilitate the dump just as he has rehabilitated himself and get his homeless friends there jobs. William Powell knew this, and so when this project came up, he pushed for Lombard to get the part.
Gratitude, contrition, and humility wash over her, and that is what really saves her as a human being.
The 1930s longsuffering rich guy, out of step in a world undisciplined and nutty. Jean Dixon, longsuffering herself, plays their maid with that typical 1930s wisecracking sensibility that keeps us all levelheaded.
I love the scene where she lovingly sews a button on Powell’s jacket, and Lombard strokes the sleeve. ” Powell is unaware of the harem he has made of the household females.
Of such simple stuff is excellent screwball comedy made.
Eugene Pallette, he of the lordly, imposing girth and the foghorn vocal chords, plays the husband and father, and keeper of the keys to this nuthouse.
Mischa Auer, you’ll remember, shows up as the perennial guest for dinner in that one, too.