9 August 2011 | gerrythree
"Gentlemen Are Born" Is A Really Bad Movie
TCM finally aired "Gentlemen Are Born" on 9 August 2011 as one of 24 hours' worth of Ann Dvorak movies, she being the star of the day. When Darryl Zanuck was in charge of production at Warner Bros., he would have never allowed this pathetic movie to go into production. The credits say Alfred E. Green directed this movie, so he must have, although I find that hard to believe.
Somehow, Franchot Tone got the starring role here, maybe Jack Warner thought he would lend some prestige to the movie, what with Tone usually working at MGM then. Franchot Tone's acting here is horrible, his thin-lipped smile makes him look like he is trying out for a role as the next Dracula. For me, the high point of the story was when Tone's character, Bob Bailey, working as reporter, asks the businessman father of one of his college chums if he is familiar with rumors linking the father's business to a bank that just failed. Mr. Harper, the father, tells Tone to wait in the outer office with his son while he goes into his private office. Next thing you know,Harper jumps out the window and Bailey is telling his editor by phone that Harper accidentally fell out the window, a story the editor isn't buying.
Margaret Lindsay is in this movie also and she looks great, even if her role is totally unreal. At least she doesn't end up like another college chum of Tone's played by Dick Foran. Foran's character gets beaten up in a boxing match, is wrongly tied in to a truck theft ring and gets mistaken as a stickup man.
Next time TCM shows this movie, avoid it.
29 November 2011: Robert Lee Johnson, responsible for the story and screenplay of this turkey, floated from studio to studio as a screenplay writer. He probably thought this movie would put him on the Hollywood map, with its mix of pretentious characters and preposterous storyline, all played with a straight face by the actors here. Instead, this movie tanked and Johnson went on to a career as co-scriptwriter for hire at any studio hiring.
If not for one voter here, my review would have scored all negative votes from the IMDbers who saw this movie. Darn it, too bad that one voter can't retract his positive vote. Those negative voters must live in world where it is the norm for crooked banksters to say say "excuse me" and then commit suicide by jumping out of their office window. If this movie were a comedy, that scene would have been a laugh riot. Trouble is, hack scriptwriter Johnson was being serious. This movie represents a real waste of director Alfred Green's talent.