Saturday, September 23, 2017

Tonight's Movie: Playing Around (1930) - A Warner Archive DVD Review

PLAYING AROUND (1930) is one of a couple films starring Alice White which have just been released on DVD by the Warner Archive.

White plays Sheba Miller, a somewhat ditzy blonde. Sheba's father (Richard Carlyle) works in a cigar store, and her straight-laced boyfriend Jack (William Bakewell) runs the soda counter in the same store.

Sheba is only halfheartedly serious about the industrious but boring and bossy Jack, and her head is turned by the attentions of Nicky Solomon (Chester Morris). Unbeknownst to Sheba, Nicky is not the wealthy man of her dreams, but a gangster who resorts to mooching money off acquaintances.

One evening Nicky, hard up for cash, decides to rob a cigar store...yes, the one run by Sheba's father.

PLAYING AROUND is mildly diverting, over quickly enough it doesn't wear out its welcome. A little of White's high-pitched, half-silly, half-serious persona goes a long way with me; I enjoy her more as a supporting actress.

I'm a Chester Morris fan but he's a real sleaze in this one. At the end, when he jokes about needing a magician for some handcuffs, I expected him to break loose of them, but I guess he only does that in the BOSTON BLACKIE movies!

Bakewell is fairly annoying as Jack, who has the right ethics and work habits but is too overbearing and not very interesting. The supporting cast also includes Marion Byron, Ann Brody, and Kernan Cripps.

PLAYING AROUND was directed by Mervyn LeRoy and filmed by Sol Polito. There are a few nice shots of the Warner Bros. backlot during the course of the movie.

The print is good, especially considering the film's age.

There's a nice extra at the end of this 66-minute film, over a minute of exit music. There are no other extras.

Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this DVD. Warner Archive releases are MOD (manufactured on demand) and may be ordered from the Warner Archive Collection at the WBShop or from any online retailers where DVDs and Blu-rays are sold.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older