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  • boblipton8 December 2006
    There's some very good talent in front of the camera in this lighthearted movie about con men conning other con men; and there are signs that someone who understood something about subtext had a hand in the script, as lies are expounded, confidences betrayed and reality starts to bend so much that you can't tell who is playing what.... when Walter Catlett impersonates Ed Wynn, Jerry Lester apes Jimmy Durante and someone who I don't recognize impersonates Julian Eltinge playing Mae West..... then you're on the verge of something so strange that they might have invented screwball comedy a year before Howard Hawks birthed it in TWENTIETH CENTURY.... but someone pulled back, said we had to be sure the audience understands the envelope switch.... and turned what might have been great into another decent time waster. James Dunn is good, Joan Bennet is very good -- another talented actress that was used and ignored by all the critics because she had the misfortune to have a talent for comedy -- and Herbert Mundin is good. But you walk out of the theater frustrated.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    There's a lot right with the first half of this caper with con-artists traveling around the countryside hood-winking the country folk with a medicine show. When James Dunn (posing as a sheriff to escort the medicine man out of the crowd should he be exposed) accidentally ends up with his pretty escort Joan Bennett's purse, he's determined to get it back to her, but knows he can't do that without exposing himself and his racket. Ironically, she ends up on the same train out of town with him and explains her predicament. She's the sister of a bank clerk who was ripped off by one of his clients concerning an estate, and now she's out to find the culprits. By chance, they spot them in a hotel and uncover an elaborate scheme to bring them to justice. But that's only half of the money, and the only half where there's any quality to this misguided film. The later half takes them to New York where they end up behind the scenes of a Broadway musical revue so bad that it wouldn't have ended up in the bottom rung of burlesque shows. Imitations of Jimmy Durante, Ed Wynn and Mae West (a man in drag no less!) seem desperate and forced. Bennett is pretty but wasted. Character performers like Herbert Mundin and Walter Catlett seem to be pushing for laughs which never come, making this a film where all the ingredients were there for a comedy which went flat.
  • JohnHowardReid11 February 2018
    Warning: Spoilers
    As a support to the Roxy's superb vaudeville bill, headed by James Melton, "Arizona to Broadway" was never intended to win scads of admirers. Nonetheless, it's glorious to see Herbert Mundin billed above the title. Although his role is not a typical one, he gives it a game try.

    Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for James Dunn - he sleep-walks through his part - or the obviously totally confused Theodore Von Eltz.

    At least J. Carroll Naish knows how to play his role. He's a villain from the word, "Go!" In fact, he pours on the menace so effectively, we're quite sorry to see him get his comeuppance.

    As for the lovely Joan Bennett, she felt so ill-treated by being cast in this fascinating turkey that she broke her contract with Fox and didn't return until the studio was purchased by 20th Century Pictures.

    Although it's certainly not a bad movie (I love the chorus girls), you will enjoy it more if you savor it as it comes and don't expect a five-star comedy triumph.