Flirtation (November 9, 1934)
Released on November 9, 1934: When a farm boy goes to the big city to sell his cheese he meets a burlesque dancer who convinces him to pretend to be her husband while her mother is visiting.
Produced by Leo Birinsky
Directed by Leo Birinsky
Written by Wells Rood and Leo Birinsky
The Actors: Jeanette Loff (Nancy Poole), Ben Alexander (Dudley), Arthur Tracy (the street singer), Emma Dunn (Mrs. Poole), Franklin Pangborn (veterinarian), Al K. Hall (unknown), Cissy Fitzgerald (Mrs. Nerps), Helen MacKellar (Mrs. Smith, the baby's mother), William Pawley (unkown), Ernie Adams (the crook), Tommy Bupp (the baby), Billy Franey (unknown), Mary Gordon (woman looking out her window), Fay Holderness (woman looking out her window), Hattie McDaniel (Abigail, Dudley's housekeeper at the farm), Lee Moran (stage manager), Tempe Pigott (woman selling flowers)
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The Sad Burlesque Dancer
I was going to tell you about the time after I was adult and away from my preacher father when I subscribed for a while to the best known girlie magazine of the 1970's - just to read the articles you understand. As I watched the opening scenes of the country boy in the city watching his first burlesque show . . . Just for the singing and comedy you understand . . . I realized once again how much we are today just the same as a hundred years ago . . . The more things change the more they stay the same.
Yes, that is what I was going to start a discussion on for this movie, but halfway through it all changed . . . I was eager to see great scenes from actress Jeanette Loff, the sexy burlesque dancer and centerpiece of the story . . . Just to appreciate her acting talent you understand.
Well, from the very first close-up shot of the lovely lady I was saddened by the look on her face, and after delving a bit into her personal history became saddened even more. I believe that happiness is a choice . . . I don't believe that depressed and unhappy people need to stay that way all their lives, and I cannot understand how some people watch the same glorious sunrise that I do and don't marvel in the wonder of being alive to enjoy the amazing journey that we all are on.
I don't understand sad souls at all, but I see them all around me and do not know how I might change them. Jeannette Loff's father was an accomplished violinist and Jeannette inherited a good sense of music and had a fairly good singing voice. In Hollywood she tried mightily to establish a career as a movie star, possibly hoping that fame and fortune would take away her blues, but as I could see in this next-to-last movie she ever made, there was no happiness in her face, and I believe that it mirrored her soul. Look at any of the screen shot photos that I put under the movie . . . Even the rare shot of her smiling . . . The sadness in her eyes still seeps out into my spirit as I look at her pictures many decades after her death. Her death . . . After making this movie in 1934 she made one more picture before her movie career was ended. Eight years later at the age of 35, after trying to be happily married to a liquor dealer, she swallowed a deadly amount of poison . . . and the question of whether it was murder or suicide remains to this day.
In this story she is a burlesque dancer who by chance meets a farm boy and she convinces him to pretend to be her husband while her mother visits. This leads to that and they fall in love and in the end will get married, making Mother happy, making the farm boy happy, and dancer Nancy Poole says the lines that profess she is finally happy with her soon-to-be husband, but I could still see the sadness in the actresses eyes and mouth . . . Let me know if you agree . . . Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
backstage at the burlesque show
Ben Alexander, Emma Dunn and Jeanette Loff
Ben Alexander and Emma Dunn
Ben Alexander, Jeanette Loff and Tempe Pigott
Ben Alexander and Jeanette Loff
Ben Alexander, Tommy Bupp and Jeanette Loff
Ben Alexander kisses Jeanette Loff
Ben Alexander at the Burlesque show
the burlesque chorus line
Franklin Pangborn and Cissy Fitzgerald
Hattie McDaniel and Ben Alexander
Helen MacKellar and Ben Alexander
Helen MacKellar and Emma Dunn
Helen MacKellar and Jeanette Loff
Jeanette Loff and Ben Alexander
Jeanette Loff and Ben Alexander
Janette Loff in 1934