For Reel

Rafter Romance (1933)
June 25, 2011, 10:48 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: William A. Seiter

Ginger Rogers is top-billed in this delightful pre-Code sex comedy. Struggling to pay rent, the landlord of her building decides to pair her with another tenant, played by Norman Foster, under the agreement that they will share the apartment in twelve hour shifts. As roommates they have a bitter rivalry, but a chance encounter makes them lovers. These cases of mistaken identity were old hat for the genre even in 1933, but what makes the film successful is its cast – charming additions to Rogers and Foster are Robert Benchley as Rogers’ slimy boss and Laura Hope Crews as an old society woman who wishes to attain Foster as her boy toy. For such a light-hearted farce, today’s viewers will be shocked by one scene in which the son of a Jewish landlord chalks a swastika on a wall, declaring it to be a sign of “good luck.” Its an unsettling, fascinating historical document that reflects just how lightly some Americans were taking Nazism in the early 1930s.

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