24 July 2012 | dougdoepke
Ten Minutes of Cheap Thrills
Between the tacky title and the pre-Code year (1931), I was expecting a carload of cheap thrills. Happily, the first ten minutes does deliver. There's the tawdry lineup of taxi dancers waiting to get mauled; the over-loud bouncy band; and the tacky guys eager for ten cents of hard-boiled maybe's. Then there's the dressing room where the girls get to trade war stories and smooth out their nylons. No, it's not exactly the uptown social register, but it is colorful as heck. Plus, the slinky, gum-popping Stanwyck couldn't be more at home.
But then the story goes all soap-opera, as Barbara (Stanwyck) tries to hang onto her philandering husband, a very un-charismatic Eddie (Owsley), who also happens to steal from his employer (Cortez) who also happens to be an uptown socialite who also happens to have a yen for Barbara, of all people. Yes, it does get a little confusing. But hang on anyway, since our suddenly very faithful ex-taxi dancer has to suffer big time in order to deserve her eventual reward. I expect there wasn't a dry eye in the house.
No, I didn't get the cheap thrill carload I was hoping for. But Stanwyck does compensate for a lot. Plus I really liked the camaraderie amongst the girls, sort of like what you find among men in combat. But then I guess that fits. Anyhow, if you have a preference for weepies and gum-popping dames, this stone age talky fills the bill.