HOOK, LINE AND SINKER
(director: Edward Cline; screenwriters: Ralph Spence/Tim Whelan/story by Tim Whelan; cinematographer: Nick Musuraca; editor: Archie Marshek; cast: Bert Wheeler (Wilbur Boswell), Robert Woolsey (Addington Ganzy), Dorothy Lee (Mary Marsh), Jobyna Howland (Mrs. Rebecca Marsh), Ralf Harolde (John Blackwell), Bill Davidson (The Duke of Winchester), Natalie Moorhead (Duchess Bessie Vanessie), Hugh Herbert (House detective), George Marion Sr. (Bellboy), Stanley Fields (McKay); Runtime: 75; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: William LeBaron; RKO; 1930)
“All I could do was grit my teeth at this early talkie by the now forgotten duo of Wheeler and Woolsey, that were a popular Hollywood comedy staple for most of the 1930s.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Feeble Depression-era comedy directed by Edward Cline (“Hard Luck”/”My Little Chickadee”/”The Bank Dick”), that’s filled with lame one-liners and slapstick. If you can stomach the outdated and cornball wit of the comedy team of Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey, in their fourth feature film, then you might appreciate this film more than I did. All I could do was grit my teeth at this early talkie by the now forgotten duo of Wheeler and Woolsey, that were a popular Hollywood comedy staple for most of the 1930s.
Wilbur Boswell (Bert Wheeler) and Addington Ganzy (Robert Woolsey) are bumbling insurance agents who help runaway heiress Mary Marsh (Dorothy Lee) run a dilapidated hotel that was left to her by her late uncle. Mary has runaway from home rather than marry shady rich lawyer John Blackwell (Ralf Harolde), head of a gang of bootleggers, as her mom Rebecca (Jobyna Howland) ordered. By a fluke publicity stunt the hotel becomes a popular resort spot for society folks, and thereby dangerous safecrackers show up to rob the jewels in the safe but find themselves in a gun duel in the hotel lobby with Blackwell’s gang who use the basement as a hideout and have been ordered by their boss to bump off Wilbur and Addington.
The thin comedy has the duo use their wits to thwart the robbers and their would-be assassins, and in the process Wilbur romances Mary and Addington romances her mom.
REVIEWED ON 10/17/2009 GRADE: C+ https://dennisschwartzreviews.com/