For Reel

Bed of Roses (1933)
June 30, 2012, 7:24 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Gregory La Cava

A prime example of the pre-Code era at its most sexually brazen, Bed of Roses pairs Constance Bennett and Pert Kelton as a couple of prostitutes who are on the hunt for new saps to seduce and rob. In order to evade capture after stealing from a businessman, Bennett finds herself in the care of the handsome, easy-going captain of a cotton boat, played by Joel McCrea. For those who have seen their share of pre-Codes, what happens next is no surprise – Bennett’s quest for redemption is sparked by her relationship with an honest man. Bennett and McCrea had been cast together three times previous, and in this fourth and final collaboration they have a sizzling chemistry following their rather typical meet-cute. Despite the top-billed heavyweights, however, it is Kelton – a character actress who worked frequently in Hollywood throughout the 1930s – who runs away with the picture. With a distinctive deep, nasal voice, she spits out wisecracks like “I was just trying to drown out your domestic happiness!” after interrupting a couple’s quarrel. In 1955, Kelton was cast as the original Alice in the popular television series “The Honeymooners”, however following her blacklist during the McCarthy hearings she was replaced by Audrey Meadows.

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