28 January 2013 | audiemurph
The dirtiest 15 minutes you'll ever see from the 1930's!
I have watched many movies of the 1930's and I think I can make the following statement in clear conscience: the first 15 minutes of 1933's "Bed of Roses" is the dirtiest sequence of main stream film to grace the screen for the next 25 years! Wow, it is awesome. The great Constance Bennett, and her hooker partner Minnie, both just out of jail, need a ride to New Orleans. Minnie cozies up to a truck driver, asks for a ride, he says "what's your offer?" Then, a minute later, Bennett sidles up, and Minnie asks her, "can you drive?"! Implied yet relatively explicit is the suggestion that Minnie will be "paying off" the driver in the back of the truck! Wow! Then, once on the riverboat, the two girls are short of cash, so Minnie quite obviously whispers a rude offer into the steward's ear. He rejects the offer, but she doesn't mind - "nothing personal" she declaims. Judy Garland never behaved this way with Mickey Rooney over at MGM!
Folks, I am ever-grateful that the "Code" forced Hollywood to keep its movies very clean for 2 or 3 decades: the art of that period will never be surpassed again. But taking this path makes all those slightly naughty movies of the early 30's that much more fascinating and wonderful to see, like they got away with something, and we are the beneficiaries of that daring.
Another interesting decision the director makes is to take about 15 minutes worth of early action, which takes place on the Mississippi River, and have it all occur in a quite heavy fog. The hazy sheen in which the actors perform is noteworthy for how long this goes on for. Again, daring and interesting.
Constance Bennett is fantastically seductive, cynical, world-weary and manipulative. Joel McCrea is great being himself. And Samuel Hinds, one of my favorite minor character actors, with his perpetually silvery hair, is his usual fatherly best.
A great one from the early days, not to be missed, even if not one of the characters has a Louisiana accent.