For Reel

We’re Not Dressing (1934)
June 2, 2015, 3:40 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Norman Taurog
3.5 Stars
We're Not DressingImmediately preceding the release of Twentieth Century (which would make her a bonafide screwball icon), Carole Lombard starred in this hugely entertaining comedy that has the feel of a vaudeville show. We’re Not Dressing is loosely sketched together by a plot that sees a singing sailor (Bing Crosby) become a capable leader after he and five others get stranded on an island. Crosby, as he was wont to do, brings a detached, cool demeanor, but he’s elevated into the world of the living by having Lombard to play off of. The two have a love/hate relationship that teems with sexual frustration–in the climax, he ties her to a tree and threatens to her rape after his masculinity is compromised. Modern viewers will find the moment shocking, as they will the treatment of a supporting bear who becomes involved in a slew of visual gags. Between Lombard’s sexually aggressive performance (including the memorable line, “Am I gonna get to see your chest, sailor?”) and humorous supporting antics involving George Burns and Gracie Allen, We’re Not Dressing is an absolute delight.

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