28 April 2019 | HotToastyRag
I don't like Spencer Tracy
Nowadays, Now I'll Tell is promoted as an early Shirley Temple movie, but if you're watching it for her, you'll be severely disappointed. She's got sixty seconds of screen time. This is a Spencer Tracy movie, and not a good one. This is a movie that should have cemented his career as unlikable jerks and relegated him to B-pictures forever after. Instead, he went on to play leading men for decades.
In this drama, Spencer is married to Helen Twelvetrees and rises in the ranks of the seedy gambling world to own his own casino. Winning fortunes isn't enough for him, he insists on taking bigger and bigger risks, dabbling in horse racing, boxing rigging, and getting involved with dangerous mobsters. Helen doesn't want any part of that lifestyle, and since they don't even have children, she has no comforts in her lonely life. Spence, in the meantime, does anything he pleases, including keeping mistresses. His latest cutie-pie is Alice Faye, a nightclub singer, and he puts her up in an apartment, covers her in furs, and gives her a hundred-thousand-dollar trust fund. Alice completely lives up to her promoted image of "the singing Jean Harlow" in this movie. She looks so much like her, it sure served 20th Century Fox well for ten years! Her black feathered costume while vamping "Foolin' with the Other Woman's Man" looks very similar to Jean's negligee in The Girl from Missouri.
I didn't like this movie for the plain reason that I don't like Spencer Tracy. He's so unlikable and so conceited, I could hardly stand to watch his scenes. If Edward G. Robinson were in the lead, it would have been an infinitely better movie.