Hard to Get (1938)

Approved   |    |  Comedy, Romance


Hard to Get (1938) Poster

When spoiled young heiress Maggie Richards tries to charge some gasoline at an auto camp run by Bill Davis, he makes her work out her bill by making beds. Resolving to get even, she ... See full summary »


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18 June 2014 | blanche-2
6
| the one about the heiress and the gas jockey
What would Hollywood have done if "It Happened One Night" hadn't been made? After that, the movies were peppered with heiresses, one of which was Olivia de Havilland in 1938's "Hard to Get" starring Dick Powell, Charles Winninger, Roscoe Jenkins, and Bonita Granville.

Margaret (de Havilland), an heiress, runs afoul of gas jockey Bill (Powell) because she doesn't have $3.48 to pay for gas and oil. He then makes her clean some bungalows. Outraged, she complains to her father (Winninger) and demands that he do something. He refuses and tells her to take care of it herself.

Margaret returns to the gas station, and, pretending to be the valet's daughter, makes nice, flirts, and goes out with Bill, who proceeds to tell her about a business venture for which he is seeking investors. Margaret then sets out to extract her revenge. And guess what happens along the way.

I'm not as enthusiastic about this film as some others on this board. It's totally predictable and, in my opinion, not one of the better screwball comedies, though there are some funny sections, especially toward the end.

Olivia de Havilland was absolutely beautiful and excellent as the spoiled heiress, and Dick Powell was delightful, as was his singing of "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby" and his entertaining "Sonny Boy," as a Jolson impersonation (blackface and all). Winninger and his friends (Melville Cooper, Thurston Hall) are very funny on the construction site at the end.

The cast makes it enjoyable.

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