Jolly Cinema > 10:15


William K. Howard


Thursday 29/06/2017


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

Apparently eager to get into production on Transatlantic, Howard shot this enjoyable but unambitious romantic comedy in seventeen days, bringing it in four days ahead of schedule. Working from a forgotten Broadway play from 1919, Howard and his writers, Leon Gordon and Lynn Starling, craft a breezy sex farce from a slender premise – a playboy (Lowe) bets his lawyer (Roland Young) $10,000 that he can seduce the next woman who walks in the room, who of course turns out to be the lawyer’s wife (Jeanette MacDonald).

MacDonald, just off her famous series of Ernst Lubitsch musicals at Paramount, surprisingly does not sing a note in this film, though she later enlisted Howard to direct the first of her many musicals at MGM, The Cat and the Fiddle (1934).


An intelligent bundle of fun with a capital cast, was the feature last week at the Roxy. It is to be hoped that this breezy sketch, an adaptation of a story by William Anthony McGuire, will pave the way for similar productions, for its lines are peculiarly well written and there is not the slightest suggestion of catering to the box office by stereotyped ideas.
Don’t Bet on Women virtually means that mere males cannot ever be certain what the fair sex is going to do. This comedy has quite a French flair in some of its incidents, but it chances that the young performer who affords the greatest amount of amusement is Una Merkel, who plays Tallulah Hope of Covington, Kentucky. Miss Merkel, who hails from the other side of the Mason and Dixon line, furnishes one of those rather rare occurrences of a player suiting the role to a T. If one were to take the actual lines that Tallulah speaks they might not sound especially humorous, but they, like Tallulah, are part of a story and there is a load of laughter every time this naïve girl opens her mouth.

Mordaunt Hall, “The New York Times”, March 15, 1931

Cast and Credits

T. alt.: More Than a Kiss. Sog.: William Anthony McGuire. Scen.: Leon Gordon, Lynn Starling. F.: Lucien N. Andriot. M.: Harold D. Schuster. Scgf.: Sophie Wachner. Int.: Edmund Lowe (Roger Fallon), Jeanette MacDonald (Jeanne Drake), Roland Young (Herbert Drake), J.M. Kerrigan (Chipley Duff), Una Merkel (Tallulah Hope), Helene Millard (Doris Brent), Henry Kolker (Butterfield). Prod.: William Fox per Fox Film Corp.  35mm. D.: 71’. Bn.