For Reel

Girl Missing (1933)
April 20, 2012, 1:38 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Robert Florey

A pair of gold-diggers are on a murder case in Robert Florey’s Girl Missing. Glenda Farrell, one of the great wise-crackers of the early thirties, is paired well with Mary Brian, who is the dimmer one of the two but also the better man-eater. On screen, they have a satisfying, fast-talking chemistry – one wishes that they starred in a number of similar mystery thrillers, as opposed to the hard-boiled male detective type that was too-often recycled. In a memorable opening scene, a pathetic sugar daddy played by Guy Kibbee has suspected Brian of being after his money, and he requests that she accompany him to bed to prove her loyalty. In the morning, having refused to accompany him, Brian finds that he has left her with the $700 hotel bill for making a fool out of him. Once one of their old friends from the chorus goes missing and a substantial reward is offered for her discovery, they pursue the culprits of a convoluted scheme that places the victim’s husband as the sucker. Ben Lyon, the husband, is dull as a leading man, but Brian and Farrell, especially, inject every scene with impeccable comic timing and wit. Screenwriters Carl Erickson, Don Mullaly, and Ben Markson balance the comedic elements with the mystery plot with impressive ease, contributing to Warner Brothers’ pre-Code reputation of producing quickly-paced, highly entertaining yarns packed with plenty of attitude.

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