The story follows a brash young man out to make his fortune. His means: sell a passel of 7% bonds. His mark: wealthy Hettie Brown. His method: ply the old biddy with booze until she signs on the dotted line. The result: a fall-down-funny comedy.
Bulldog-faced, bullmoose-framed Marie Dressler would never win a beauty contest, but her powerful turn as a blowzy sot in Anna Christie opposite Greta Garbo won her a legion of devoted fans. In The Girl Said No, her next film, she again hit the bottle. But this time she played a grouchy grande dame unused to the Demon Rum in a laugh-'til-you-gasp scene that made her reputation as one of the Early Talkie Era's great comediennes. The story follows a brash young man (William Haines) out to make his fortune. His means: sell a passel of 7% bonds. His mark: wealthy Hettie Brown (Dressler). His method: ply the old biddy with booze until she signs on the dotted line. The result: a fall-down-funny (literally) comedy sequence.
SCREENLAND magazine summed up the William Haines vehicle THE GIRL SAID NO thusly: "The star plays another of his cut-up roles that make the critics gnash their teeth and the audience chortle." Had this review been printed in the 1990s, the character played by Haines might have been labelled a demented stalker; in 1930, however, he was merely whimsically over-enthusiastic. The star plays go-getting bond salesman Tom Ward, who can't take no for an answer when his sweetie Mary Howe (Leila Hyams) throws him over in favor of a collar-ad wimp named McAndrews (Francis X. Bushman Jr.) Tom continues to hound Mary at home and at her job, and when all other tactics fail, he kidnaps her from her own wedding, merrily driving off with the outraged heroine bound and gagged in the back seat! Almost as "funny" as this denouement is the scene in which Tom poses as a doctor and gets his "patient" roaring drunk. Only the antics of Marie Dressler (as a reclusive Hetty Green-style financier) and Polly Moran save this so-called comedy from being an utter disaster. The dialogue in THE GIRL SAID NO was written by Charles MacArthur, who hopefully didn't use Bill Haines's caveman tactics while courting his own bride, actress Helen Hayes.
Love Triangle |
Love Triangles |
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