FERNANDO’s CORNER ~ posted January 29th, 2018
In this feature lovely Sylvia Sidney plays “Baby Face” Mary Richards, a woman who’s leaving jail after serving a two-year sentence for having taken part in a scam which caused the death of a man. She was pushed to participate by her crooked husband, who’s the one really to blame and who was was sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment.
Baby Face, has nowhere to go and she’s mistakenly taken as a street-walker by a decent cab driver (George Raft, in a good performance). Sylvia Sidney was an accomplished actress and she beautifully plays the part of the doomed Mary, but George Raft was quite a surprise, because he managed to bring much honesty to his part and he had a great chemistry with Ms. Sidney.
Mary helps Harry to improve himself and they end up living together, but she’s not able to marry him, because she is still married to her crooked convict husband. This aspect of their relationship would have been unthinkable outside the Pre-Code Era.
Lillian Bond plays an absolutely wild society girl (Muriel) who’s only interested in sleeping with Harry and she’s very good in this very Pre-Code-ish role. Muriel throws a weird party to which she invites Harry and Mary, where guests (dressed as schoolboys, schoolgirls and/or babies) pretend to be at a boarding school of sorts and fool around playing postmaster et al.
Another truly fine early Paramount.
Go to Fernando’s Corner to see his other Paramount entries.
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