Film Review and Rating / Synopsis

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  • A Blonde for a Night (1928) - Plot Summary - Silent era romantic comedy / bedroom farce - Bob Webster (Harrison Ford) and wifie Marcia (Marie Prevost), newlyweds of a week, are confident as they awake in their Paris luxury apartment that they are never going to quarrel. The very next thing you know, Bob's "old pal" George arrives from New York - - Bob invites the guy up to meet the new wife, but the wife soon overhears skirt chaser George chatting it up to Bob about how the two of them used to be so blonde crazy - especially Bob! Oops - she's a brunette (though Bob has just informed his pal that his wife has a "blonde disposition" - eh, what the heck is that?!). Annoyed by the guy talk her hubby and friend are getting up to, she leaves for the day and visits neighbor man Hector's exclusive Paris dressmaking shop. Hector (Franklin Pangborn) decides to fit her in a new dress for a wedding present, and determines the shimmering gown she's soon decked out in would look even better with her in a blonde wig. She looks so good that Hector asks her to model a gown in his fashion show that night. Well, when she goes home she finds Bob angry after waiting all day, not knowing when she was coming home. They decide to leave each other, and he is soon under the impression she has left him and gone to Berlin. But under encouragement from nosy Hector, she decides to move into an adjoining suite (of all things) and secretly spy on her husband. And now the story gets really silly - - Bob is ready to make up with his wife, but George encourages him to wait a couple of days for her to "get lonesome" - the two men head for Hector's fashion show and what do you think - there is Marcia modelling in the show with her blonde wig on and neither man is able to recognize her, even her own husband!! When the two come on to her, she decides to lead them on by inviting each over to her apartment, unknown to the other. Okay, that's where this film really turns into a farce, with teasing kisses, various men including Hector hiding under furniture, in the bathtub, etc., and Hector ending up in her oriental pajamas.

    Review - This is a cute, very typical Harrison Ford/Marie Prevost comedy of the twenties - the plot is pretty far-fetched, especially that well known concept that you just have to sort of accept : that someone, as silly as it is, is unrecognizable just 'cause they have a wig on. Okay, she even gives him a kiss and hubby still can't seem to grasp that this blonde woman is, in fact, his wife. (Um - then there's the weird notion that this blonde has been living in the suite next to his, and he never noticed her before.) Some of the comedy in this film is done via humorous title cards. Harrison Ford is one of my faves from the silent era, he's his usual handsome self in this; Franklin Pangborn is rather amusing as the gay-ish dress designer (though it is only vaguely implied he may be gay, he is seen coming on to her a bit near the beginning, yet is soon shown to be more interested in dressing her up than anything else). Lucien Littlefield appears as Jenks, the butler, who gets some rather odd little grins on his face in this, like he's in sort of bemuddled amusement at the goings-on of this young couple. The DVD I saw of this is from Grapevine Video - the picture quality is reasonably decent (so so, but I've seen far worse), the musical accompaniment is a mostly non-descript orchestral score. Cute film, could be better with a restoration and new music score that is a better match to the story. Rating - * 7.5/10 stars *

    Director: E. Mason Hopper and F. McGrew Willis
    Film Genre: Romantic Comedy
    Film Runtime: 55 minutes

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9 = Really Good/Excellent
8 = Good
7 = Fairly Good/Decent
6 = So-so, some flaws
5 = Mediocre
4 = Not that good, many flaws
3 = Poor
2 = Very Poor/Stinker
1 = One of the worst BOMBS ever filmed

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