A flapper with a dubious reputation enjoys a vivacious night of dancing and finds herself romantically linked to her boss.A flapper with a dubious reputation enjoys a vivacious night of dancing and finds herself romantically linked to her boss.A flapper with a dubious reputation enjoys a vivacious night of dancing and finds herself romantically linked to her boss.
"Pop, listen to me! This is 1929 - not 1899 - I contribute as much money to this house as you do - and as long as I think it is harmless, I'm going to wear what I like, and do what I like! I want to go out, and dance, and have fun, as long as I can, as much as I can!"
She can take care of herself; when a sleazy guy comes on to her, she plays along but is always in control, but when a guy comes along that she does like (Hamilton), she's not afraid to kiss him first. She's confident, saying to her friends, "Sure, I'm good! I'm just naturally too hot for this old folks' home!" At the same time, we see how her having fun and dancing wildly forces her to beware of being considered a "bad girl", or to be taken advantage of by a man. She just wants to be herself and yet has to thread the needle to be acceptable to everyone around her. This leads to this fantastic line:
"You men! You insist on a girl being just what you want - and then you bawl her (out) for being it."
Unfortunately, the feminist message is a little undercut by the women ("girls") in the office who are late to work putting on pouty, little girl airs to try to seduce the boss, though I confess I found the scene amusing.
The plot is simple but it's loaded with fantastic intertitles featuring 1920's slang, and it's got some nice art deco sets to go along with all the flapper outfits and dancing. While the film is a great time capsule of that era, the scenes of the younger generation struggling against the older are timeless. The fathers of both are shown to be too old-fashioned, but her mother (Bodil Rosing, who is wonderful) is more understanding, and has some really lovely scenes with Moore. In an interview for the film, Moore pointed out the hypocrisy of the older generation by saying "Is it any worse for a girl to call kissing 'necking' and admit she does it, than it was for her mother to call it 'spooning' and deny it?" Hamilton added, "It's all in the point of view... Our parents probably scandalized our grandparents, and our kids will probably look back on us as a lot of old fogies." It seems you can repeat these lines for every generation.
This film marked the end of an era not just for America, but for Colleen Moore, who would only appear in a few sound movies afterwards. She's wonderful.
- Feb 11, 2020