Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


The cast of Safety in Numbers

SAFETY IN NUMBERS  (1930). Director: Victor Schertzinger.

"My uncle says you're well-acquainted with the 400."

"We are. We know all of the husbands and none of the wives."

 20-year-old Bill Reynolds (Charles "Buddy" Rogers) will inherit millions on his next birthday, so his uncle inexplicably sends him to New York to supposedly sow his wild oats, yet hires three chorus girls to look after him and keep him out of trouble and away from predatory females. You would think with a plot like this the movie would at least be some fun, but it's so badly written and paced that it's a real snooze-inducer. The three chorus girls are so amateurish that it's a shock to realize that one of them is actually Carol Lombard, who would of course develop into a talented comedienne and major Hollywood figure -- but you'd never know it from this movie. Geneva Mitchell is slightly saucier in her brief turn as Cleo Carew, who has a hankering for Reynolds. Rogers had some charm and aplomb, but the movie is dull and the songs not very memorable. Louse Beavers, playing a maid as usual, sings a number -- but you can miss it. The movie has a total of one laugh and only one interesting sequence, when we see a bunch of chorus girls in silhouette before a screen showing scenes of New York. Reynolds unaccountably  falls in love with Jacqueline (Kathryn Crawford), the plainest of the trio. Josephine Dunn rounds out the threesome and Virginia Bruce has so small a role that if you blink you miss her.

Verdict: Almost unbearably bad. 1/2 *. 

No comments: