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The Half Naked Truth

(1932 b 77')

En: 5 Ed: 4

A publicity man leaves a carnival and promotes a singer in New York with wild schemes but becomes jealous of her new producer.

Carnival acts compete for few dollars, and Jimmy Bates (Lee Tracy) tells Achilles (Eugene Pallette) they need a better press agent. Because of a blonde, Teresita (Lupe Velez) goes after Jimmy with a gun. He takes the gun, fires it, and tells her to scream; he pretends to be wounded to stir the crowd, promising to reveal her father. Teresita wants to go to New York and calls Jimmy a fake. Drunk Achilles speaks to detectives, who close the show and try to arrest Jimmy. He runs away with Teresita and Achilles to Broadway.

Jimmy calls Teresita a princess and gets the imperial suite, implying that Achilles is a eunuch. Achilles says he buried their cash. Jimmy pretends to call Merle Farrell (Frank Morgan) and takes him a message while he is rehearsing his follies. Farrell has Jimmy thrown out. A maid says Achilles is different. Teresita has ordered clothes. Jimmy has a piano crate delivered and orders thirty pounds of raw meat. Reporters arrive, and Jimmy lets a lion into the room. He says Farrell has hired the princess. Farrell reads the news and hears Jimmy broadcasting from a plane. Farrell accepts the idea, and Jimmy comes in with contracts. Farrell meets Teresita and signs. Jimmy plays piano as Teresita sings the jazzy carpenter song. Jimmy says that she is not a Turk and laughs. Farrell creates a mood of eastern mystery for her dance, but the audience is bored. Jimmy cuts the curtain cord and goes on stage to say the dance must stop. He has her sing and dance the jazzy carpenter song, pleasing the audience.

Teresita tells Jimmy that Farrell is sending him on the road, and Jimmy decides to promote the maid Ella Beebee. Teresita dines with Farrell, and a photo is taken. Jimmy takes reporters to a nudist colony to interview Ella. Farrell sees the photo in his office and makes sure that Jimmy is fired, telling Teresita he has a family. Jimmy comes in to say goodbye to Farrell and ignores Teresita. Ella and Achilles are paraded on a car nude. When police arrest them, Jimmy threatens to sue New York. Farrell gives Teresita two weeks notice by phone and plans a march of the nudes with Ella. Jimmy runs a successful publicity business. Achilles tells him that he bought the carnival. Later Jimmy gets a telegram from Achilles asking for help. Farrell is divorced and plans to marry Ella. Jimmy goes away to Achilles' carnival and sees Teresita singing. He tells her he has a surprise for her.

This satire of the publicity business implies that New York has the most suckers.

Copyright © 2005 by Sanderson Beck

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