Movie Mirrors Index

Swing Your Lady

(1938 b 78')

En: 5 Ed: 4

Based on a play by Kenyon Nicholson and Charles Robinson, a wrestler is pitted against a female blacksmith but falls for her and defeats her suitor.

Ed Hatch (Humphrey Bogart) and wrestler Joe Skopapoulos (Nat Pendleton) with Shiner Ward (Allen Jenkins) and Popeye Bronson (Frank McHugh) check into a hotel in the Ozarks. A country band sings, and Ed asks Davis for a wrestling match. Cookie Shannon (Penny Singleton) arrives to surprise Ed. Ed's car gets stuck in a ditch. Blacksmith Sadie Horn (Louise Fazenda) lifts the car, and Ed asks her to wrestle. Ed tells Cookie that he can't marry her yet. A maid knocks out Joe, and Cookie warns Ed about matching Joe with a woman. Mrs. Davis (Elviry Weaver) sings about her Pappy's death, and Cookie sings "Hillbillie from Tenth Avenue."

Joe skips rope on the road and gets water from Sadie. Joe tells her he is going to wrestle, and she says it is with her. They get to know each other. Ed, Shiner, and Popeye ask Joe where he was. Cookie tells Ed that Sadie is coming to meet Joe. Cookie tells Joe that there are two kinds of people, and Ed says he will wrestle a woman. Sadie arrives and meets Joe, who demonstrates holds on Popeye. Joe holds Sadie but kisses her, saying he can't fight her. Ed says that Sadie won't get the $100. Noah Webster (Daniel Boone Savage) shoots at them, and Sadie stops Noah from fighting Joe. Ed plans to have Noah wrestle Joe.

Reporter Jack Miller (Ronald Reagan) arrives and gets the story from Ed. Sadie in a dress says she favors Joe until Ed tells her that Joe is married with kids. Cookie complains that Ed lied. Joe asks Sadie to get hitched, but she throws him down. Cookie sings "Swing Your Lady" as people dance. Ed is warned that Joe had better not win, because Sadie gets the winner and wants Noah. Ed orders Joe to lose. Referee Smith arrives, and Ed reminds Joe and Noah what they will do. In the match Sadie roots for Noah. Ed gets a telegram that the winner is invited to Madison Square Garden. Ed and Popeye tell Joe to win. Joe throws Noah several times and wins. Sadie is to marry Joe; but she says he is already married. Joe says that Ed lied. In the final scenes Joe works as a blacksmith, and Ed, Popeye, and Shiner travel with Noah, who looks over a woman.

This farce satirizes country folk, the "sport" of wrestling, and a big woman. Hollywood seemed to be reaching for a different audience in this one.

Copyright © 2001 by Sanderson Beck

Movie Mirrors Index

BECK index