Saturday, November 10, 2018

Tonight's Movie: Goldie Gets Along (1933) - A Warner Archive DVD Review

French actress Lila Damita stars in the title role of RKO's GOLDIE GETS ALONG (1933), newly released on DVD by the Warner Archive.

Orphaned Goldie had been taken in by her American aunt (Jane Keckley) after her mother died in France, but the free-spirited, unconventional Goldie is a fish out of water in the very strait-laced Saunders household. She shocks the family by staying out late and generally doesn't fit in.

Goldie's earnest boyfriend Bill (Charles Morton) wants to marry her and presents her with a lovely little house, but Goldie has other ideas; she wants to go to Hollywood and be an actress.

Despite having no money, Goldie hits the road, both taking advantage of and fending off a succession of lecherous men; among other things she hitchhikes, "borrows" a car, and wins a rigged beauty contest with a trip to Hollywood as the prize.

Goldie frankly isn't very nice, using everyone in her path, yet Bill inexplicably wants her and keeps pursuing her, all the way to Hollywood.

GOLDIE GETS ALONG is a very loooong 68 minutes. Damita -- who had previously been married to director Michael Curtiz and would marry Errol Flynn in 1935 -- is utterly charmless in the lead role. She made me think of another European actress, Hungarian Franciska Gaal (THE GIRL DOWNSTAIRS); why Hollywood moguls thought either woman would be successful is baffling.

Morton is somewhat reminiscent of actor Charles Farrell, but without the charisma. Bill really needed to go home and find himself a girl actually interested in being his wife, because a marriage to Goldie seems doomed to failure.

In the right hands, with Goldie a less manipulative, hard-edged character, this might have been an amusing screwball story with a fun "road trip" and Hollywood setting; such storylines worked well in other movies, but sadly this film is absolutely leaden.

Thankfully Nat Pendleton and Walter Brennan pop up briefly, along with child actress Helen Parrish (just seen in THE BIG TRAIL), but that's about all I can say for it. Most movies I see have at least some redeeming features which make them worthwhile, but I have to say this isn't one of them. Oddly, I've seen two such films in the last week, the other being WINE, WOMEN AND HORSES (1937).

GOLDIE GETS ALONG was directed by Malcolm St. Clair and filmed by Merritt Gerstad.

The Warner Archive DVD is a good print, particularly considering the film's age. The sound quality is fine, although Damita's accent is a bit challenging at times. There are no 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.


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