Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Tonight's Movie: Kansas City Princess (1934)

Joan Blondell and Glenda Farrell star as a pair of daffy, money-hungry manicurists in KANSAS CITY PRINCESS (1934).

Rosie (Blondell) becomes engaged to genial, somewhat dimwitted gangster Dynamite (Robert Armstrong) when he puts a big rock on her finger, but when his fellow crook Jimmy (Gordon Westcott) steals the ring, Rosie is afraid to tell Dynamite; instead, Rosie and her pal Marie (Farrell) hide amidst a group of "Scouts" and flee town on a train.

The plot gets goofier from there, as eventually Rosie, Marie, and Dynamite all end up on a ship to Paris, where they're befriended by a kindly millionaire (Hugh Herbert). Once in France the trio become embroiled in a zany plot to help their new friend win back his wife (Renee Whitney).

Blondell and Farrell, previously seen teamed in films like TRAVELING SALESLADY (1935) and MISS PACIFIC FLEET (1935), are always fun to watch together, but sadly this film is a subpar effort.

There's some nice fast-paced banter between the ladies, particularly early on, but there's really not much of a plot; individual moments are amusing but the story never has a point or gels as a whole. I love spending time with early '30s Warner Bros. casts but this is one of the studio's weaker films of the era. Fortunately the running time is just 64 minutes!

The supporting cast includes Vince Barnett, Hobart Cavanaugh, Osgood Perkins, Ivan Lebedeff, and Arthur Hoyt.

KANSAS CITY PRINCESS was directed by William Keighley. It was filmed by George Barnes, who was Blondell's husband at the time.

This movie is not yet available on DVD, but it can be seen from time to time on Turner Classic Movies. The trailer is on the TCM website.

May 2018 Update: This movie has just been released on DVD by the Warner Archive.


Blogger Caftan Woman said...

I agree. A little work on the plot could have fashioned a dandy little feature instead of merely an excuse to put Blondell and Farrell together, knowing they would do their best to shoulder the movie.

2:30 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Interested to hear you had a similar reaction. They had a great cast, it coulda/shoulda been a lot better. :) Our gals did everything they could with it!


Best wishes,

10:58 PM  

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