224. Convention Girl (1935)

Convention.jpg

*The Warlock opens the door to his lair. He’s wearing a brown trench coat, black dress shirt, white tie, brown dress pants, black shoes and a fedora hat. He’s holding a glass bottle of pepsi*

Warlock: Welcome to my lair…welcome I don’t think so, but enter. Enter my lair if you dare. I’m your host The Warlock.

*Warlock lowers his head and the lights dim before walking inside*

Warlock: Why am I dressed like a 1930’s gangster? Tonight’s movie was released in 1935 that cast a familiar face. Unfortunately, I will be doing this by myself.

*Camera pans to an empty lair*

Warlock: A cabaret singer is sought after by a rich business man and a seedy gambler. Someone has to win but who will it be? Let’s find out.

*Warlock takes his seat in the recliner*

Warlock: Time to fire up Convention Girl.

 

Directed by Luther Reed

Written by George Boyle and Max Lief

 

*Warlock reads the tag-line*

Warlock: “A cabaret hostess is brokenhearted because she loves a gambler who does not love her.”

Warlock: Awww…isn’t that too bad?

 

*Opening credits to upbeat song*

Warlock: Wonder if Cosmo Brown worked on this song.

 

*Opening credits have mini scenes from the movie to introduce the cast*

Warlock: They did this in Song of Kong too.

 

*Maid calls for Babe Lavell (Rose Hobart) who answers in the shower*

Warlock: Almost had nudity in a 1935 movie.

 

*Babe says “All sunshine and no sugar”

Warlock: Black coffee must have been different in 1935

 

*Some drunk calls for Babe. The maid calls him the big soup man from Philly*

Warlock: Soup to nuts, heh, Shemp was in that.

 

*Babe gets a call from Cupid Pettyjohn (James Spottswood)*

Warlock: This girl must be world famous.

 

*Cupid asks for her help for a party he’s organizing. She says she’ll get some girls for the party. She calls up Daisy (Nell O’Dell) and Daisy says Babe is a lifesaver. She’ll get the girls and be right over. Daisy’s girls insult the Electric Washer Convention goers. As soon as Daisy drops Babe’s name, they all get dressed*

Warlock: Is this a prostitution ring?

 

*Gracie (Sally O’Neil), Peg (Lucille Mendez) and Betty (Nancy Kelly) are introduced to Cupid. He and his friends make them drink before they eat. Next frame are the three girls passed out*

Warlock: Right in the middle of the great depression.

 

*Cupid said the brightside of the girls passed out is they won’t have to buy them dinner. They leave a note but its revealed the girls only pretended to be asleep. The girls ask what they’re going to do. Gracie gets on the phone and has room service charged to Cupid*

Warlock: Hahahhaa good one.

 

*Maid asks why Babe is worried. Tommy walks in and says he was working on a proposition. Babe says to stay away from Dan (Shemp Howard) and he says “Honest I’m not.”

Warlock: I don’t believe him.

 

*Babe is nearly run over on a boat by a guy in a carriage*

Warlock: Who uses a carriage on a boat???

 

*Beaux Art is the scene where Babe confronts Bill Bradley (Weldon Heyburn). Bill is glad to see her and they smoke together. Bill calls the guy in the carriage a mooch. Bill says he wants to go out with her and take her somewhere away. Helen Shalton (Ruth Gillette) sings Sand In My Shoes*

Warlock: I need sand in my ears to protect them from this. The singing is okay its just the 1930’s recording style makes my ears bleed.

 

*Bill and Babe watch the performance along with carriage dude*

Warlock: Lady’s actually quite pretty. Too bad she has sand in her shoes.

 

*Bill tells Babe he picked up a girl and he wants Babe to give her a job. He says he’ got her in the hotel that Babe stays at. Babe leaves as Carriage Dude watches her. Babe is sent to meet the girl. Its Daisy. Babe gives her a job. Meanwhile Louie the host tells Babe that Carriage Dude wants to talk to her. Some dude wants to talk to Babe but Babe hooks him up with a girl named Miranda*

Warlock: What kind of club IS this?

 

*Bill gets up and leaves to go to a gambling joint. When he gets there, Dan is with Tommy. Bill tells Dan to stay away from Tommy. Dan tells him he can buy and sell him if he wants and leaves. Bill tells Tommy to stay away from “that rat.”

Warlock: Shemp is the heel? Say it aint so.

 

*Bill tells Tommy to get a real job and pay more attention to Babe. Meanwhile Babe is with Carriage Dude. His name is Ward Hollister (Herbert Rawlinson) and he’s Jim Cunningham’s boss. He blames Babe for Jim getting drunk and wants Babe to get him straight. She agrees to it but wants the money straight up. He pays her and she walks away. She goes to Tommy and tells him to cash it for her. Tommy goes to Bill and says to cash it. Bill says to go tell her he hasn’t got it. Tommy says to do it and she wants to see the both of them right away. Tommy leaves first and Dan confronts him. Dan takes the check and says HE’LL cash it, hands Tommy 5 bucks and leaves*

Warlock: Ohhhhh shit.

 

*Bill reports to Babe that he’s having Tommy getting the money for him. Bill flim flams Ward about having a job. Then Babe says she needs two of Bill’s thugs for a job. Meanwhile Tommy walks in with the money and hands it to Babe before leaving. Babe goes to leave with Ward*

Warlock: Wait, she’s got the money?

 

*The Isham Jones Orchestra (themselves) plays a tune. Babe tells Daisy to take the girls to Bill’s place that night*

Warlock: The two song numbers take up about 6 minutes of the run time, so the movie’s only an hour long.

 

*Daisy, Gracie, Betty and Cupid are told to hit up Bill Bradley’s. Meanwhile Ward and Babe go to meet Jim Cunningham. Meanwhile Cupid and his cronies get back to the hotel and see the room service. His wife (Laliva Browne) called him many times too*

Warlock: He’s got some explaining to do.

 

*Babe and Ward leave Jim’s penthouse and takes the carriage back to the Manhattan Hotel. Babe and Ward talk back at the hotel. Babe says Ward isn’t as bad as he seems. Ward invites her to a chair ride at 4 PM tomorrow and leaves*

Warlock: Wonderful, now what?

 

*Babe is with Bill at the beach the next day. Bill is jealous of Babe being with all these guys and he wants her. She says he has no idea what real love is and he doesn’t. They go frolic in the water anyway. Meanwhile Daisy, Gracie and Betty are taken to the zoo by Cupid and his guys*

Warlock: Wonderful, what’s this got to do with anything?

 

*Mrs Pettyjohn arrives at the hotel looking for Cupid and she’s mad. Meanwhile a circus is shown*

Warlock: What the hell is going on?

 

*Mrs Pettyjohn barges past Daisy and says she’s looking for Cupid. Daisy sits in front of Cupid and passively tells them all she’s here, upsetting Cupid. He wants to leave but Betty says no, she wants to see the diving horses. Sure enough a horse dives into a pool 30 feet below. Daisy spots Mrs. Pettyjohn and Cupid runs for it with the girls in tow. She chases them out of the arena*

Warlock: Hahahahaha

 

*At 4 PM, Ward is with Babe. Bill walks in and is surprised to see Ward. Ward invites him to the chair ride and Bill says he hasn’t been in one in a while. Ward asks why he’s not coming and Bill says he doesn’t want to. Babe coerces him into it*

Warlock: Never turn down a good thing dude. We got 33 minutes left.

 

*Bill says he wants to go faster and Ward says he wants to spend some money. Bill says “Ohhhhh, okay.” Bill takes Ward and Babe to one of his dives. Bill warms up to Ward and Babe and wants to know when the next ride is. Babe then leaves and Bill apologizes for being sore. He didn’t want her to fall for him and then to leave. Ward asks Bill if he loves her, he says that doesn’t matter. Babe’s too square to get mixed up with a gambler*

Warlock: Lot of that going on in the 30’s/

 

*Bill says Ward’s the first guy he hasn’t run off yet. They drink together. Next frame is Dan and Tommy and Tommy is worried what Babe will think. Dan tells him to shut up and get to the cafe to not arouse suspicion. Back at the cafe, Tommy tells Babe everything is alright when an absolutely shattered Daisy stumbles in. Babe tells Tommy to take her back to the hotel. Babe is lonely and she asks Helen to stay with her*

Warlock: This is moving too quick but its expected since its only 67 minutes long.

 

*Helen asks what Babe’s problem is. Helen asks how she feels about Ward. Babe says she’s never felt this way before. Helen says Babe rushed into it with Ward and Babe tells her to go to bed*

Warlock: This is 1935 so no girl on girl hanky panky here.

 

*Bill confronts Tommy and Daisy. He strong arms them into Babe’s apartment. He says Tommy was gonna go on the run with her. Apparently Tommy is Babe’s nephew. She asks if it was true and Daisy says that they love each other especially after last night. Bill throws them out and Ward teams with Bill to make Babe feel better. The three of them will hang out around 7*

Warlock: This is a bizarre love triangle.

 

*Ward gets a call from Bill saying he won’t be able to make it and to go along without him. Ward tells Babe that Bill won’t make it and Babe laughs that he was scared of the elaborate dinner. Meanwhile Tommy wants his cut from Dan. Dan says they’re going to see Ward. They barge in on Ward on Babe. Ward asks what they want. Dan tries to blackmail Ward for an extra 5 grand by pulling out the check he signed and says they’ll squeal to his wife. Ward laughs and says that they played a joke on the wrong guy, his brother is the married one. Dan tries to strong arm him and Ward tells him to buzz off. Dan tries to spin it that Babe is the mastermind behind it. Ward goes with it and says he’ll be back with 5 grand. Dan tells him “no monkey business.” Ward picks up the phone and calls Bill and asks for 5 grand until the morning. Bill says it’ll be over shortly. Meanwhile Ward tells them to stay put outside. A messenger soon arrives and hands the 5 grand to Ward. Ward hands it to Dan and tells them to go as far away as the money will take you. He walks back to Babe. Dan hightails it out of there*

Warlock: Run Shemp run!

 

*Bill tells the bartender he didn’t want to take the money there himself….but he thinks he will now*

Warlock: Will he make it in time?

 

*Ward confronts Babe about the check and goes to force himself on her when Bill runs in. Ward says he paid 5 grand for Babe so he may as well enjoy it. Bill asks what he means. Ward pulls out the check and says Babe was blackmailing him and he gave 5 grand to Tommy.  Babe says she had nothing to do with it and Ward starts to believe her. Bill gets on the phone and figures out Dan is behind it. He tells Charlie the bartender to get some of his men and to round up Dan and Tommy, then bring them to Ward’s. Bill tells Ward to wait right there*

Warlock: No no no, he’s paddling away.

 

*Back at Dan’s apartment, Tommy asks for his cut, Dan tells him he lied. Tommy says he won’t get away and Dan pulls a gun on him. Tommy yells at him for his money and Dan shoots him*

Warlock: Oh isn’t that wonderful.

 

*Bill gets the call that Tommy has been shot. They all go to the hospital. Tommy confesses that Dan was behind it all and apologizes to Babe. Ward and Bill pull her away. Ward asks for forgiveness and Babe says there is nothing to apologize for. Ward walks away and Babe tells Bill to go home. She sits with Tommy alone. Later on back at the gambling club Ward and Bill talk one on one. Ward wants to give Bill a job with his Detroit territory. Bill takes it*

Warlock: Nice, he’s gone legit….what about Shemp?

 

*Bill and Babe get married and Babe dumps the sand from her shoe, the end*

Warlock: That’s…..it?

 

The Warlock’s Assessment: Normally I’d give this a 2 but you have to keep in mind it was 1935. A lot of things that could spice it up years later weren’t available at the time. Still, it was a story of lies, deceit and chicanery. Normally that’s a good thing but the lack of comeuppance on Shemp’s character bugged me. He got 5 grand and got away clean, that sucks. He should have eat least ate a right cross to the jaw by someone. Oh well, given the time frame, I’ll give it a 4 out of 10. Definitely not recommended unless you’re a die hard 3 Stooges fan.

Final Grade: 4 out of 10: Bad

 

*Warlock rises from the couch*

Warlock: Well that sucked. Shemp as the heel that got away with it at the end kind of bugged me, the story was rushed and some of the characters had zero development. Still, it was only an hour long movie so they had to work with what they had. Still, it was interesting to see Shemp in the gangster role. Would have loved to have seen Moe come out from behind a couch with Larry in tow when Shemp pulled the gun, grab Shemp by the ear, say “Oh, bushwhacking eh? *slaps Shemp* what’s the matter with you? You pebblebrain, c’mere!” and drag him away. That about wraps up another craptastic adventure, have a pleasant evening.

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