FERNANDO’s CORNER ~ Posted July 5th, 2016
I have just revisited “Hot Saturday” ( 1932 ) and I had forgot what a knockout Pre-Code it is. WOW! This film has one of Nancy Carroll’s very best performances. Each time I see one of her films, I think what a pity that Hollywood lost such an actress so early, because she really could have become, and stay, even a bigger name than she was like Claudette Colbert, another fellow actress at Paramount, which IMO shared some traits with her.
Ever since I read in-depth about this film in William K. Everson’s essential book “Love in Film” I had been after this movie, and know I have seen it twice!! This film could be named “Malevolent Small Town Gossip”. It’s all about jealousy, envy and narrow-minded prejudice. Nancy Carroll plays Ruth, THE most popular girl in town and one of the smartest as well. She’s an independent, no-nonsense, working girl with a great appeal.
All the guys who work with her in the bank are after her, but she just wants to have fun in a sensible way and is on the level. But, events unfold in such a manner that his ardent suitor ( Edward Woods ) and jealous friend ( Lillian Bond ) ruin her reputation badmouthing her with malicious gossip.
Nancy Carroll is simply superb as Ruth, who supports her family and has to cope with her demanding mother ( Jane Darwell, very good ). Cary Grant, in one of his best early roles, is quite excellent as a notorious playboy whose company means immediate disgrace to any small town-girl. Randolph Scott plays Ruth’s childhood friend, who has always loved her; a shy, good natured, and rich handsome engineer. Edward Woods is Ruth’s jealous and immature boyfriend and Lillian Bond, is the daughter of the man who runs the bank were Ruth works, and who’s jealous of her because she attracts all the attention. Grady Sutton and Stanley Smith play other suitors.
A true Pre-Code whose conclusion is totally representative of that period and came completely unexpected ( I had forgotten most about this film, so it surprised me again and my jaw dropped; but I thought: GOOD for her; it’s their loss!! ) Excellent. Only qualm, since the lovely Lillian Bond plays a “demure” small town girl, she does not wear the provocative outfit in which she appears in some poster art from the film.
[ CineMaven’s NOTE: To read more on Nancy Carroll, please see Immortal Ephemera’s post on her here. ]
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