Hats Off (December 6, 1936)

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Mae Clarke in Hats Off
 

Released on December 6, 1936: This musical comedy hits all the right notes. It was made by a small studio called Grand National. They were producing films that were as good as the major studios, but shortly after this film, they got Jimmy Cagney to star in a film the went horribly over budget, to the tune of about $800,000, an unheard of amount for 1936, and the studio went bankrupt.

Produced by Boris Petroff

Directed by Boris Petroff

The Actors: Mae Clarke (Mary Jo Allen), John Payne (Jimmy Maxwell), Helen Lynd (Ginger Connolly), Luis Alberni (Caesar Rosero), Richard 'Skeets' Gallagher (Buss Morton), Franklin Pangborn (Mr. Churchill), Robert Middlemass (Tex Connelly), George Irving (J.D. Murdock), Clarence Wilson (C.D. Pottingham), and Three Radio Rogues (as themselves)

 

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The Texas Twin City Two-Step

This 1936 movie is about an exposition. A twentieth century exposition was like a county fair on steroids. There were two expositions in 1936, and one of them was held on the shores of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland where the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame now stands. The reason for the the Cleveland was to celebrate the founding of the city a hundred years earlier. The Great Lakes exposition lasted two years and attracted over 11 million visitors over the two years that it was held, helping to lift the Cleveland economy out of the horrors of the Great Depression.

There was another little party that year in Texas Centennial Exposition, celebrating a hundred years since Texas got its freedom from Mexico. This exposition hosted six million visitors in the six months that it was held, also lifting the economy of Texas during the Great Depression years. I cannot say for sure which exposition this movie is trying to show, but the two towns feuding over their twin expositions are Texas towns, so as much as I'd like to think that nearby Cleveland inspired this movie, I'm pretty sure that the movie producer wanted us to think of the Texas Centennial Exposition when he made this film.

Mae Clarke, the actress who became famous for getting a half-grapefruit crushed in her face by James Cagney a few years earlier in his breakout movie ‘The Public Enemy,’ is the leading character in this dueling exposition adventure. She has been hired to publicize the exposition at one town, and her love interest Jimmy Maxwell, played by John Payne, is the publicity expert at the nearby exposition at the town a few miles away.

Mae Clarke’s character will deceive and trick Jimmy into friendship while she conspires to get the big New York City show producer to bring his show to her exposition instead of to the nearby exposition that Jimmy is trying to produce. The sparks will fly as the plot unfolds and it doesn’t look like sparks of love as their deception and trickery escalates. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Charles King
Charles King
Charles Wilson
Charles Wilson
Franklin Pangborn
Franklin Pangborn
Franklin Pangborn and secretary 'Gloria'
Franklin Pangborn and secretary 'Gloria'
Franklin Pangborn
Franklin Pangborn
Franklin Pangborn
Franklin Pangborn
George Irving and Mae Clarke
George Irving and Mae Clarke
George Irving
George Irving
Helen Lynd and Richard 'Skeets' Gallagher
Helen Lynd and Richard 'Skeets' Gallagher
Helen Lynd and Robert Middlemass
Helen Lynd and Robert Middlemass
Helen Lynd sings
Helen Lynd sings
Helen Lynd and Richard Gallagher
Helen Lynd and Richard Gallagher
Helen Lynd
Helen Lynd
Jack Perry
Jack Perry
John Payne
John Payne
John Payne and Franklin Pangborn
John Payne and Franklin Pangborn
John Payne and Skeets Gallagher
John Payne and Skeets Gallagher
John Payne
John Payne
John Payne
John Payne
Luis Alberni
Luis Alberni
Luis Alberni
Luis Alberni
Luis Alberni
Luis Alberni
Mae Clarke and George Irving
Mae Clarke and George Irving
Mae Clarke and Luis Alberni
Mae Clarke and Luis Alberni
Mae Clarke
Mae Clarke
Val Stanton and Ernie Stanton
Val Stanton and Ernie Stanton
Mae Clarke and George Irving
Mae Clarke and George Irving
Mae Clarke
Mae Clarke
Richard Gallagher
Richard Gallagher
Richard 'Skeets' Gallagher
Richard 'Skeets' Gallagher
Robbert Middlemass and Charles King
Robbert Middlemass and Charles King
Robert Middlemass
Robert Middlemass
The Radio Rogues
The Radio Rogues
Val Stanton and Ernie Stanton
Val Stanton and Ernie Stanton
William H. O'Brien and Luis Alberni
William H. O'Brien and Luis Alberni
William H. O'Brien
William H. O'Brien