“Love is a Racket” on TCM

Love is a Racket is going to air on Turner Classic Movies on Wednesday, December 12 at 5:00am EST.

British Synopsis Sheet

It’s been a couple of years since I watched this 1932 William Wellman feature starring Douglas Fairbanks Jr. as a fast talking newspaper man who gets more than he bargained for when he falls for an aspiring actress played by Frances Dee. As I recall, it’s not an earth shattering film, but it’s a lot of fun and worth watching.

By the time Ann Dvorak started working on this picture, Warner Bros had already given her starring roles in The Strange Love of Molly Louvain and Three on a Match. Her part in Love is a Racket is small in comparison and kind of odd as she spends a lot of the movie hanging out at Fairbanks’ apartment (even if he’s not there or if he’s asleep), and lounging in his bathrobe (see photo). Apparently, in the James Rian novel this was based on, her character is a coked-up prostitute which would have been far more interesting, but I guess even pre-code cinema had its limits.

Ann started working on this one on February 20, 1932 and finished up on March 16th. The next day she and Leslie Fenton flew to Yuma, Arizona and were married.

Ann and Frances Dee’s characters are very catty towards each other and Fairbanks, Lee Tracy and Lyle Talbot are all good, so this one is worth setting the alarm or the Tivo for.

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