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Hard to Handle

Plot [from a story by Houston Branch] trips a light fantastic over a series of gags and the gags account for most of the merit. Between the good ones, the yarn rushes James Cagney through some far-fetched situations.

Cast:
James Cagney Mary Brian Ruth Donnelly Allen Jenkins Claire Dodd Gavin Gordon

Plot [from a story by Houston Branch] trips a light fantastic over a series of gags and the gags account for most of the merit. Between the good ones, the yarn rushes James Cagney through some far-fetched situations.

As a sort of safety net to catch any laughs the star might miss, story includes a comedy mother-in-law, played by Ruth Donnelly. For the first half-hour or so Donnelly runs away with the picture, after which the role is softened up by repetition.

Cagney is a press agent in this one, beginning with a dance marathon, and then starting from scratch all over again when his partner kidnaps the gross. That happens in California. When reaching New York, Cagney high-pressures his way into the money, putting over a college, a reducing cream and Florida grapefruit farmland among other projects.

Stage-mother stuff sustains the romance background while Cagney is space-grabbing on the side.

While his material isn’t up to average, Cagney’s playing is as usual and as effective in its way as always.

Hard to Handle

Production: Warner. Dir Mervyn LeRoy; Producer Robert Lord; Screenplay Wilson Mizner, Robert Lord; Camera Barney McGill; Editor William Holmes; Music Leo Forbstein (dir.) Art Dir Robert M. Haas

Crew: (B&W) Extract of a review from 1933. Running time: 71 MIN.

With: James Cagney Mary Brian Ruth Donnelly Allen Jenkins Claire Dodd Gavin Gordon

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