For Reel

Fight for Your Lady (1937)
November 23, 2014, 3:22 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Benjamin Stoloff
3 Stars
Fight For Your LadyHow’s this for a comic situation: a heartbroken opera singer (John Boles) flirts with an attractive ventriloquist (Ida Lupino) so that her jealous lover (Erik Rhodes) will put him out of his misery. Fight for Your Lady is about as ridiculous as the plot suggests, but in moments it is hugely enjoyable. Unfortunately, however, Boles’ performance is rather awful. He’s bland, humorless, and worse, is inept at portraying his character’s arc–if the screenplay didn’t reveal that Boles has fallen in love with Lupino, one might assume he’s still the lethargic, suicidal mess he was earlier in the picture. Jack Oakie has a sizable supporting performance that livens things up a bit, but the film is almost completely salvaged by the appearance of Rhodes. He plays a similar flamboyant, aloof foreigner that he played in The Gay Divorcee and Top Hat, and he knows exactly how to generate laughs with simple inflections in his voice. Among his standout lines, there’s a scene in which he is appalled to learn that Boles does not have a mother, and in dismay he blares, “Never had a mother? He is what you call ‘incubator baby’, like a chicken?!”

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