17 December 2011 | goblinhairedguy
Showcase for Benny Rubin
"Love in the Rough" is a cute little comedy-musical with a golf club setting, starring a callow Robert Montgomery (who sings and dances!). The first hour is quite winning, though the plot bogs down a bit in the latter reels. There is a nice visual fade at the very end, so keep watching. The film has a surprising immediacy since it was filmed open-air on a real golf course rather than being studio-bound. And it provides a nice portrait of innocent courtship (just holding hands is considered pretty erotic).
The film is really a showcase for the comic talents of Benny Rubin, who is hoodwinked into being Montgomery's caddy. A lot of movie history books state that Rubin could not find work in the movies after the early 30s because he looked "too Jewish". Probably what they really mean is that his stereotypical Yiddish character (God-given looks included) was offensive. Of course, Chico Marx, Henry Armetta, Mantan Moreland, etc., got away with coarse ethnic stereotypes for years, so maybe he was really offensive to the moguls. Anyway, he has plenty of entertaining shtick to display in this picture, the highlight being a hilarious Yiddish palaver with another Jewish caddy. He's also menaced by a crude Italian greenskeeper. The politically incorrect portrayals are trumped by Roscoe Ates's incredible take on stuttering. In this movie, he takes his "art" to the extreme (he even gets Young's character to catch the bug). The dancing – much of it comedic – is fine, especially an interlude by one Earl "Snake Hips" Tucker.
One thing that really gets my goat is the writers' obvious ignorance of golf. They think that yelling "fore" means to be quiet, and that if an opponent's golf ball is blocking your putt, you have to putt around it! The latter leads to the climax, where the hero cleverly finds a way to overcome the obstacle.