Jolly Cinema > 09:30


Frank Tuttle
Introduced by

Ehsan Khoshbakht


Tuesday 25/08/2020


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

Archie Leach, the young lad from Bristol who later became Cary Grant, made his debut in Hollywood under Tuttle’s direction, in the Lubitschian This Is the Night (1932). There is more Leach than Grant in that film, yet the star on the rise appeared in no less than four features in 1934, the best of which was Ladies Should Listen, also by Tuttle (and the one that contributed most to his ‘Cary-Grantness’). It would seem that Tuttle did for early Grant what Hitchcock did for mid-period Grant. He plays the debonair Frenchman, Julian de Lussac, who returns to Paris from South America, with no prospects for financing his luxurious lifestyle. When a rich fiancée appears to be the answer to his problems, the pursuit of the wealthy socialite makes him deaf to the call of the heart and he ignores the switchboard girl who is secretly in love with him. Edward Everett Horton is on the scene too, with his usual confused charm, following his own agenda with women almost as successfully – though not as tactfully – as Grant. What begins as skirt-chasing, thanks to the unexpected arrival of love, leads to a better understanding of women. For Tuttle, the key to conveying the seductive nature of the sharply written script by Claude Binyon and Guy Bolton lies in techniques he had fully mastered by the early 30s: the timing of performances and the pacing of scenes, with a minimum number of camera setups. Even when it seems there’s absolutely nothing to break the theatrical nature of the scene, a highly ironic panning shot from the characters to a statue and back again – from sexual innuendo to a more humane and emotional note – adds a cinematic quality to that which seems at odds with the lens. As with most of Tuttle’s comedies, the location for the battle of sexes is a site of charming intrigue and playful plotting, with devices and deceptive spaces such as secret doorways, alluring staircases, and gadgets – which here include a fake thunderstorm generator!

Cast and Credits

Sog.: from the eponimous play (1933) by Guy Bolton, adaptation of the play La Demoiselle de Passy by Alfred Savoir. Scen.: Claude Binyon, Frank Butler. F.: Henry Sharp. M.: Eda Warren. Scgf.: Hans Dreier, Ernst Fegté. Mus.: Tom Satterfield. Int.: Cary Grant (Julian de Lussac), Frances Drake (Anna Mirelle), Edward Everett Horton (Paul Vernet), Nydia Westman (Susie Flamberg), Rafael Corio (Ramon Cintos), Rosita Moreno (Marguerite Cintos), George Barbier (Joseph Flamberg), Charles Ray (Henri), Charles E. Arnt (Albert), Ann Sheridan (Adele). Prod.: Douglas MacLean per Paramount Pictures. 35 mm