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The Life of the Party

(1937 b 77')

En: 5 Ed: 4

In this Kalmer-Ruby musical a young man courts an aspiring singer even though he will lose a large inheritance if he marries before he is thirty.

On a train to Santa Barbara the band of Dr. Molnac (Billy Gilbert) rehearses. Barry Saunders (Gene Raymond) tries to help Mitzi Martos (Harriet Hilliard) get her shoe loose and accidentally lifts her dress. Oliver Goodwin (Victor Moore) was hired by Barry's mother to follow him. At a hotel Barry asks house detective Parky (Harry Parke), who continually confuses words, to find the woman missing a shoe, and Parky buys all the ladies shoes. Mitzi's agent Pauline (Helen Broderick) promises to find her a singing job. Mitzi sings "Roses in December" in her room; Barry hears and plays piano. When Barry sees who she is, he returns her shoe and keeps coming back through her bedroom door. Barry sings "I Adore You" as she argues with him. He asks her to marry him when he is 30.

Oliver meets Pauline. Parky tells Joe Penner (Joe Penner) that he is looking for Joe Penner. Joe plays flute for Dr. Molnac, who is so disturbed he eventually breaks the flute. Joe sings "Life of the Party" and steals shoes in the hall for Parky. Joe advertises for shoes in 202. Mitzi goes there and finds Oliver and Barry, who shows her shoes. Barry sends Oliver out with shoes for Pauline. Mitzi suspects that Barry is trying to use tricks to get to her and runs out. Barry finds Oliver trying on shoes for Pauline and sends them away. When Mitzi calls for shoes, Barry delivers them immediately; but Mitzi rejects him and romance. Mitzi's mother Countess Martos (Ann Shoemaker) introduces her to Joe and his mother (Margaret Dumont). Mitzi says she can't marry him, because she just go married. Barry says it is him and kisses her. The Countess puts them in the bridal suite next door to her. Barry tells Mitzi he won't inherit three million dollars if he marries before he is 30. Barry and Mitzi sings "Let's Have Another Cigarette," and she leaves him on the balcony all night.

Oliver and Pauline call the desk about the marriage, but Mitzi tells Pauline she is not married. Pauline pays Parky to lock up singer Susan, and Parky tells Joe to steal Susan's clothes if he has to rip them off. Mitzi and Barry dress up, and she kisses him. Pauline has Mitzi sing with Dr. Molnac's orchestra "Yankee Doodle Band." Joe plays several instruments, and Betty (Ann Miller) tap dances. Mitzi is hired. Oliver asks Barry for his marriage license and says that Barry is broke. Barry's mother arrives and says that Barry is 30. So Barry and Mitzi plan to marry.

Sexual innuendo and Parky's word-play highlight this mildly amusing musical comedy that explores the tension between romantic attraction and the desire for money.

Copyright © 2000 by Sanderson Beck

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