(director: Ray Enright; screenwriters: Earl Baldwin, Monty Banks, Arthur Caesar (adaptation), story by George S. Kaufman & Richard Carle; cinematographer: Gregg Toland; editor: Owen Marks; cast: Joe E. Brown (Calvin Jones), Ginger Rogers (Ruth Weston), Lew Cody (Sam Lehman), Vivien Oakland (Miss Martin), Robert Greig (Mack), Ralph Ince (Dolan), Marion Bryon (Kitty), Richard Cramer (Racketeer), Spencer Charters (Oscar); Runtime: 69; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Bryan Foy; First National Pictures (Warner Bros.); 1932-B/W)
“A silly comedy.“
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A silly comedy that relies totally on the bluster of Joe E. Brown as a yokel to work. Ray Enright (“Montana”/”South of St. Louis”) ineffectively helms this mess. It’s based on the story by Richard Carle and George S. Kaufman, who wrote the 1904 musical comedy “The Butter and Egg Man.” Though The Tenderfoot bares little resemblance to the play, it’s where it originated. The witless corny screenplay is by Monty Banks and Earl Baldwin. Calvin Jones (Joe E. Brown) is a hick cowboy from Texas visiting New York, who meets in a Jewish deli a four-flusher Broadway producer named Sam Lehman (Lew Cody). The slick producer gets the rube to invest $20,000 in his new show, where he will be a 49 % partner, while the majority shareholders will be Lehman and his shady partner Maclure (Robert Grieg). The only reason the rube invests, is because he’s attracted to the secretary Ruth Weston (Ginger Rogers). She’s paid a $100 to hook the rube in by acting nice. The show, Her Golden Sin, bombs in a test run in Syracuse. The producers fire Ruth for telling them off, so the rube for $5, 000 buys control of the show so he can hire back Ruth. When it opens on Broadway he replaces the crabby leading lady (Vivien Oakland) with Ruth and dresses the cast in Shakespeare costumes. The show becomes a smash hit as the critics take it for a satire. When racketeers try to extort protection money from Jones and kidnap Ruth, he rescues her in an apartment building and the show goes on. In the last shot we see the rube and Ruth as a married couple walking the main street in his hometown with a carriage of triplets.
REVIEWED ON 8/12/2017 GRADE: C+ https://dennisschwartzreviews.com/