If you're looking for any kind of tell all story about the legendary Twenties gambler and racketeer Arnold Rothstein, Now I'll Tell isn't the film for you. The book it was based on by his widow who was obviously wanting her late husband to be seen in the best possible light. Fox Films further obliged the widow by even changing the name of the protagonist to Murray Golden.
But as for the story of Murray Golden, his character is excellently essayed by Spencer Tracy who got few enough times at Fox to show his acting chops. Usually he was in B adventure films as a rugged hero. Here he is as amoral character as you might find in a Warner Brothers classic gangster film. In fact had the film been made at Warner Brothers the lead would have been perfect for James Cagney.
There are two women in Tracy's life, his loyal wife Helen Twelvetrees and his sexy mistress Alice Faye. Twelvetrees sticks by Spence until the affair is really tossed in her face. As her character wrote the book on which the film is based we see the film through her eyes.
As for Alice Faye this was her second film, her first George White's Scandals had not yet been released when she was shooting this one. Faye is in her platinum blond Jean Harlow period and she's given a really outstanding song in this film which both reflects her personal life and character in the film, Fooling With The Other Woman's Man by Harry Akst and Lew Brown. Alice even got to record it, she did some records of her early film songs before Darryl Zanuck put the Kibosh on his musical stars doing records.
At the time of the film Faye was gaining more notoriety for being named as a co-respondent in a divorce proceeding of Rudy Vallee and one of his wives. Alice was a female vocalist for Vallee's Connecticut Yankees Orchestra and when Rudy was signed to appear in the aforementioned George White Scandals film version, Alice got to appear as well. Fox executives liked what they saw and Vallee who was usually not one to let a chance to make a nickel go by, let Faye out of her contract with him to sign with Fox. Maybe it was for old times or past good times sake, but the rest is history.
In a biography of Alice Faye she mentions that she was awed by Spencer Tracy's acting ability, but put off by his drinking and the crude passes he made at her. Tracy was going through a bad time of it in his marriage, but it didn't effect his performance on screen an iota.
Up to this point I haven't seen too many of Spencer Tracy's Fox films, but of the few I have seen this is one of the best, could be ranked in with some of his best work at MGM.
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