Movie Mirrors Index

Hands Across the Table

(1935 b 80')

En: 6 Ed: 6

Lombard shines in this comedy about a manicurist who aims to marry for money and meets her match.

Regi Allen (Carole Lombard) and her numerologist friend Nona (Marie Prevost) work in a hotel doing manicures. Former aviator Allen Macklyn (Ralph Bellamy) in a wheelchair gets a manicure from Regi regularly. She says she wants money more than love, because her parents were poor. She bumps into the famous Theodore Drew III (Fred MacMurray). Thinking he is rich, she nervously cuts his finger. He invites her to dinner and arrives an hour late. She has the hiccups, and he tries to cure them. When a waiter won't let them in because of their clothes, they both start to undress. Ted says he is going away and getting married on the 12th. He falls asleep and is carried by the taxi driver to Regi's couch. In the morning she leaves him there and goes to work.

Macklyn dirties his nails for Regi and asks about her date, telling her Ted is marrying a rich girl. Regi finds Ted ironing his pants. Ted gets rid of her date (William Demarest) by pretending to be her jealous husband. Ted says he spent all his money last night. He doesn't work and plans to marry money, like her. He missed the boat to Bermuda, his engagement present, and he's been living with his fiancé's family. He asks to stay with Regi. In rain he picks her up from work in a taxi. Regi gets flowers from Macklyn. Regi as the operator and Ted call Vivian Snowden (Astrid Allwyn) "from Bermuda." Vivian learns the call came from New York. Regi tucks Ted in and suggests a friend could get him a job. He says no friend had better try to pull that on him. Regi gets a heat lamp to give him a tan. They say they could be married, but it would spoil their plans. Regi kisses Ted goodnight but won't talk with him although both stay awake until 4 a.m. when Ted leaves. Regi cries.

Ted calls on the Snowdens and learns Vivian is in New York. Vivian gets a manicure from Regi and asks about Ted, offering to pay her a week's manicure for him. Regi says there is nothing between them. Regi goes to Macklyn and cries in his lap about Ted leaving. Macklyn says, "You can't run away from love." Ted ends his engagement to Vivian, saying he plans to work and marry a manicurist. Macklyn wants to propose to Regi but waits until she is calm. Ted looks for Regi and calls on Macklyn, who says Regi is through with Ted, because he's a gigolo. Ted and Regi argue. Regi tells Macklyn he's right that love counts. Regi tosses a coin, and Ted says if it stands on edge he will look for a job. They find the coin standing next to a rail.

This comedy deals with the Depression dilemma of the poor, wanting to marry rich, finding others with the same goal. Yet love triumphs over money.

Copyright © 2000 by Sanderson Beck

Movie Mirrors Index

BECK index