The Half-Naked Truth (1932)

Passed   |    |  Comedy, Romance

The Half-Naked Truth (1932) Poster

A barker at a down-at-the-heels carnival becomes a powerhouse New York publicity man as he transforms a sideshow dancer into a Broadway sensation.


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21 June 2000 | mark_r_harris
| Showcase for A Great Comic Actor
Lee Tracy, too little known today, is one of the all-time great comic actors and a personal favorite of mine. He was the original Hildy Johnson in The Front Page on Broadway and although his major films are not numerous, each is a delight. Blessed Event with co-star Dick Powell and Bombshell with co-star Jean Harlow are gems long beloved by Thirties film buffs, but even they may not have seen The Half-Naked Truth, which is a pure jolt of the Lee Tracy magic. His physical and vocal presence are uniquely and unmistakably his: the lankily elastic body, the whirling-dervish energy, the sarcastic tone, the long fingers that always seem to be jabbing in someone's direction. There's not another screen actor I can think of who has quite the manic joie de vivre of the young Tracy. In The Half-Naked Truth, he plays a carnival barker and theatrical promoter who will go to any insane lengths to hog headlines (a very contemporary figure for us!). He's paired with Lupe "Mexican Spitfire" Velez, who proves to be an extremely apt partner for him; you believe in these two together, and that makes their final scene surprisingly emotional. (Tracy's magnetism definitely has its romantic aspect; watching Bombshell, an audience can be driven to heights of frustration waiting for Tracy and Harlow to realize that they are, in fact, perfect for one another.) The wonderful ending of The Half-Naked Truth also crystallizes the Tracy credo in a single line: "What good is life if you don't get some fun out of it?" You can have some of that fun by watching this film.

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Release Date:

16 December 1932


English, Spanish

Country of Origin


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