Movie Mirrors Index

Playing Around

(1930 b 66')

En: 5 Ed: 4

A young woman goes out with a man driving a fancy car and gets engaged; but he is caught robbing her father's store by her old boy-friend.

Chorus girls sing and dance in the Pirates Den. Nickey Solomon (Chester Morris) is asked to judge a "knees contest." Jack (William Bakewell) can't afford the prices and starts to leave with Sheba Miller (Alice White), but Sheba enters the contest. The curtain shows only the women's legs, and Nickey awards Sheba the silver cup, placing a garter on her leg. Sheba sings "You Learn About Love Every Day." Nickey follows Sheba and Jack in his fancy car. Sheba doesn't want to marry yet. Jack says she likes playing around. Nickey toots his horn. Mrs. Fenerbeck and Mrs. Lippincott gossip about Sheba's silver loving cup. Sheba's Pa (Richard Carlyle) fixes her breakfast and asks about Jack.

Sheba goes to work and then to her father's cigar store, where Jack is a soda jerk. After she misses a bus, Nickey gives her a ride and stops the car. He invites her to dinner and signs the check. Joe complains that Nick owes too much and tells him to pay the bill; Nickey manages to borrow another $100 but lies to Sheba that he loaned Joe two hundred bucks. Mrs. Fenerbeck tells Mrs. Lippincott that Sheba has been coming home late every night. Pa tells Jack to talk to Sheba. She comes home, tells Jack not to interfere in her affairs, and laughs at his $35 a week. Pa says Sheba is ashamed of him and wants to meet Nickey. Sheba tells Mrs. Fenerback she is engaged and shows her a ring. While Jack is calling Sheba, Nickey holds up Pa and shoots him. Jack hears Nickey's car horn. Nickey picks up Sheba a half-hour late. She wants him to meet Pa and directs him to his store, where police are questioning Jack as a witness. Nickey talks to a policeman but tells Sheba her dad went to the police station with the arrested man. Jack tries to run after Sheba.

At the Pirates Den Nickey asks Sheba to get married that night. Jack sees them. Nickey is called to the telephone, hears Pa is going to die and plans to leave town. He tells Sheba he is going on the 11:10. He leaves her the car. When he tries to buy a ticket, Nickey is arrested by the police. Jack tells Sheba that Pa will be all right. It was Jack who called Nickey. Nickey realizes he was stupid and so does Sheba. Sheba and Jack drive Nickey's car home. Sheba asks Jack to forgive her and says she can live on $35 a week.

This simple morality tale warns against playing around with those who lie and spend money they don't have in order to make a big impression.

Copyright © 1999 by Sanderson Beck

Movie Mirrors Index

BECK index