22 October 2006 | ROCKY-19
This plot blows
This is probably the weakest film George Raft had to make for Paramount. Someone at the studio got it into his thick head that Raft, the Italian/German from Hell's Kitchen, should be playing Latin roles, and this is one of the painful results.
The plot, if it can be called that, in "The Trumpet Blows" is minor and still makes no sense. The casting is absurd. The movie is set in Mexico without one single legitimate Mexican accent. Though Raft's character Manuel Montes is supposed to have spent several years in the U.S. getting educated, that does not begin to explain a West Side accent. Nor does Adolph Menjou's always-indescribable accent ever fit in, not to mention Frances Drake, Sidney Toler or anyone else.
There are some very nice atmospheric shots, and footage of real bullfighting. Raft and Drake have some nice bits together. Menjou is entertaining, and not just for his hilariously skinny legs. Drake gets a flashy dance number (before the days when they made women cover their bellybuttons). But overall this is a weak, minor film.
Sidenote: This is the only film Menjou and Raft did together, but they had "met" back in the 1920s when Menjou was a major Broadway star and Raft had a celebrated dance act in night clubs and Vaudeville. According to Raft, Menjou came in late one night after closing and insisted they drag Raft out of bed to perform the dance number. Raft performed for him, Menjou expressed his appreciation and walked out without giving him a tip for the special performance. When they met up again years later in Hollywood, Raft reminded Menjou he owed him some money.