Crawford Speaks! And Sings! And Dances! In her first Talkie, Joan Crawford plays Bingo, a jungle-raised oil heiress, who turns Manhattan upside down in her hunt for Andy McAllister (Robert Montgomery), the man of her dreams. Unfortunately for Bingo, Andy is penniless and refuses to agree to the match until he can provide for the wild, rich girl. Andy's prideful position is more than encouraged by Bingo's Uncle Ben (Ernest Torrence), who seeks to scuttle their love match.
In addition to its pre-Code costumes and situations, Untamed also boasts Robert Montgomery's first leading role and two songs sung by the throaty Joan: "Chant of the Jungle" and "That Wonderful Something is Love" (a duet with Mr. Montgomery).
UNTAMED was touted by MGM as Joan Crawford's talking-picture debut, even though she'd already been heard as well as seen in HOLLYWOOD REVUE OF 1929. Best described as Somerset Maugham on toast, the film casts Crawford as Bingo, an oil heiress who has been raised in the tropics. When her rough-and-tumble guardians Murchison (Ernest Torrence) and Presley (Holmes Herbert) decide it is time to "civilize" the girl, they take her to New York, intending to indoctrinate her in the proper social graces. En route to Manhattan, Bingo falls in love with Andy (Robert Montgomery), whose lack of money and breeding means nothing to her. But when Andy finds out that Bingo is worth millions, he avoids her like the plague, refusing to live off the girl's riches. At her first high-society party, Bingo shocks the New York elite with her crude behavior, going so far as to punch out snooty debutante Marjory (Gwen Lee). Later on, Andy breaks Bingo's heart by again refusing to marry her and running off with Marjory. In desperation, Bingo grabs a gun and pumps Andy full of lead -- which has the curious effect of convincing him that she'll make the perfect bride! Aside from Joan Crawford's scintillating performance, UNTAMED is difficult to swallow when seen today.
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