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The Tip-Off

(1931 b 71')

En: 5 Ed: 4

A young man falls in love with a gangster's girl-friend but is protected by a jealous boxer.

A radio store sends Tommy (Eddie Quillan) on a repair job, and he is abducted to a hide-out, where he finds Baby Face (Ginger Rogers), girl-friend of boxer Kayo McClure (Robert Armstrong). Tommie hides under the bed from Kayo. When the gang of Nick Vatelli (Ralf Harolde) threatens Kayo, Tommy amplifies his voice, causing Nick to say it was a gag and leave. Tommy has seen Kayo's fights and fixes the radio. Kayo gives Tommy tickets to a dance. Tommy goes alone and avoids Baby Face even though Kayo isn't there. She sticks to Tommy; so he dances with Edna Moreno (Joan Peers) to get away from her. Nick comes in and asks for Edna, complaining to her uncle. Nick's gang eyes Tommy, and Nick cuts in. Baby Face chases Tommy, and he cuts back in with Edna. Nick leaves and tells the uncle to get Tommy. He puts a spotlight on Tommy, who escapes with Edna. She tells Tommy she hates Nick, but Nick wants to marry her. Tommy takes Edna to Kayo's. Baby Face arrives and tells Kayo that Nick is after Tommy.

Kayo and Tommy wake up in the same bed, and Edna slept with Baby Face. At breakfast Tommy tells Edna he'll find her a place no one will find. Baby Face packs to leave, complaining to Kayo about the tramp Edna. Edna overhears and leaves. Tommy goes to Kayo's with groceries but learns from Kayo that Edna left.

After three weeks a detective tells Tommy that Edna works in a flower shop. Edna agrees to talk with Nick; but Tommy arrives, and she leaves with him. Tommy reads that Edna is marrying Nick and believes she is protecting him. Kayo tells Tommy the wedding is at Scarno's. Kayo and Baby Face got married. Kayo takes a gun and goes to protect Tommy. Tommy is thrown out of Scarno's for not having an invitation, but he climbs in the window and tells Edna not to do it. They kiss. Nick finds Tommy and slaps him. Kayo arrives with a gun. Kayo and Tommy try to escape and fight several men. Nick shoots Tommy and is shot by police. In the final scene Baby Face and Kayo are in church for the wedding rehearsal of Tommy and Edna.

This comedy satirizes the bullying tactics of gangsters. Ironically the man Tommy was afraid of offending turns out to be his defender from a more malicious jealousy.

Copyright © 1999 by Sanderson Beck

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