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The Meanest Gal in Town

(1934 b 62')

En: 5 Ed: 4


A stranded actress draws men into a barbershop as a manicurist, causing the barber's fiancé to become jealous.

Chris Peterson (El Brendel) reads he should think for himself and gives Duke Slater (James Gleason) a shave but leaves it half done for a date with Tillie Prescott (Zasu Pitts), who wants to marry him after ten years. An abandoned theater troupe owes for the hotel; but Lulu White (Pert Kelton) plans to wiggle her way out of it. Tillie helps Chris get his car started but denies him a kiss. She prays for Chris. Wiggling Lulu is approached by Duke, who buys her a meal. She bets he can't get her into her hotel room without being seen. She sends him for cards, and he finds her in bed with her mother.

Jack Hayden (Skeets Gallagher) tries to sell Tillie store management. Lulu goes into Chris's barbershop with her manicure kit and pretends she is faint. Chris gives her alcohol hair tonic to drink and hires her. Chris goes to save Tillie from the salesman and stops her from signing a contract. Lulu offers Duke a manicure, and he goes out to borrow six bits, drawing a crowd of men for her. Tillie orders a second barber chair for Chris so he can marry her; but at a banquet Chris speaks of women back of men and introduces his partner Lulu. Jealous Tillie complains to Chris and says she won't marry him as long as Lulu works there. They quarrel, and she falls out of the canoe. Duke cuts hair but can't comb it down. Duke gets backing and asks Lulu to join him in his shop and marry him; but Lulu says she wants a romantic man.

Jack asks Duke for a shave, and Lulu gives him a manicure. Chris calls Tillie, but she won't speak to him. Chris gets Tillie to mend his coat; but he finds the sleeve sewn shut. Tillie gets a letter to turn over her store to a new manager because of the contract Jack sold her. Chris tells his lawyer that Tillie may lose her store; Chris has money, because he sold his shop to Duke. Jack stops his car and kisses Lulu, who asks for a trousseau and an allowance. They are held up, and Jack runs to the hotel to notify the police. Duke with a mask makes Lulu drive and chases her in his house. When Lulu sees it is Duke, she knocks him down; but he spanks her as the police arrive.

Lulu is packed and leaves in a car with Jack. At the train station Duke greets Chris, and they see Lulu returning. Chris tells Tillie that he got her store back, and she agrees to marry him.

Lulu cleverly uses her sexuality to get what she wants, and this is contrasted to the conservative approach of Tillie. Each wins a man susceptible to their divergent methods, while salesman Jack seems after only temporary gains.

Copyright © 2001 by Sanderson Beck

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