Writer Jo Swerling wastes a decent first act in this little Columbia programmer, an attempt to double-dip on the success of Frank Capra/ Robert Riskin's LADY FOR A DAY/’33. May Robson, ‘Apple Annie’ in the earlier film, plays another feisty old street tramp, but in worse shape, a real wreck; drunk, disorderly, unsympathetic. A regular at night court where Judge Walter Connolly has run out of ideas to keep her out of trouble. That’s when she’s spotted by Carole Lombard, charged with indecency for her Fan Dance routine. Given a suspended sentence, Lombard (with sleazy agent Arthur Hohl) thinks up a publicity angle to help the act: adopt the old gal as her mother! So far, so good; neatly handled by hack megger David Burton, glowing under Ted Tetzlaff’s lensing. (Lombard looks like a Goddess.) But once these two gals get under the same roof, in an apartment a millionaire might envy, the relationship & mutual reformation doesn’t make any sense even by the standards of Hollywood wish-fulfillment. Worse, Carole is stuck with total drip Roger Pryor as upper-crust romantic partner. At least, it’s over in 75 minutes.
WATCH THIS, NOT THAT: Lombard slipped in a couple of Columbia pics while under contract at Paramount. The one before this, TWENTIETH CENTURY/’34 (John Barrymore; dir-Howard Hawks), one of her best. OR: As mentioned above, LADY FOR A DAY, a true Capra beauty.