Review: ‘Havana Widows’

Tip-top rowdy comedy. Joan Blondell and Glenda Farrell are out on the loose as gold diggers again in the spicy surroundings of Havana, and Allen Jenkins is a low comedy character. Completing the welcome package there are lively tunes, an abundance of undressed girls and just the right amount of slapstick fun to give it climactic vigor.

Tip-top rowdy comedy. Joan Blondell and Glenda Farrell are out on the loose as gold diggers again in the spicy surroundings of Havana, and Allen Jenkins is a low comedy character. Completing the welcome package there are lively tunes, an abundance of undressed girls and just the right amount of slapstick fun to give it climactic vigor.

Blondell and Farrell are a couple of hardworking, underpaid gals in a honkey-tonk chorus, discouraged when they’re suspended for small infractions of the rules. Mourning in their furnished room they get word that Havana’s the land of promise, knee deep in millionaires. They nick the boyfriend (Jenkins) for the roll to make the venture, Jenkins borrowing the coin from his gangster boss, losing it at the wheel and making it up by a rubber check transaction. All this is packed into the early footage.

In Havana they pick up their victim (Guy Kibbee, of course) and in working out their campaign to take him, acquire an inebriated lawyer in the person of Frank McHugh. Meanwhile Jenkins catches up to the Havana mixup with his gambler-boss in pursuit and the tangled threads of story come together in a whooping finale involving the Cuban army, local police and fire department and most of the populace.

Song numbers are entirely incidental, having to do with Havana cabaret bits which background the action itself.

Havana Widows

Production

First National. Dir Ray Enright; Screenplay Stanley Logan, Earl Baldwin; Camera George Barnes; Editor Clarence Kolster

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1933. Running time: 68 MIN.

With

Joan Blondell Glenda Farrell Guy Kibbee Lyle Talbot Allen Jenkins Frank McHugh

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