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Havana Widows

(1933 b 63')

En: 5 Ed: 4

Two dancers borrow money to go to Cuba to try to get money with the help of a clever lawyer, but things go awry.

Burlesque dancers Mae Knight (Joan Blondell) and Sadie Appleby (Glenda Farrell) are fined and laid off. Gladys comes to see them, and they fear she will try to borrow; but Gladys says the lawyer Duffy got her $60,000 for breach of promise in Cuba. Sadie tells Mae that they are going to Havana; but people in a line are asking Gladys for money. Sadie tells Herman Brody (Allen Jenkins) that Mae's mother needs an operation. Mae asks for a $1500 loan, and Herman gets it from his boss Butch O'Neill (Ralph Ince). Herman loses it gambling and gets drunk; but Otis (Hobart Cavanaugh) sells Herman insurance, promising $1500 from his bonus to cover a forged check. Herman gives Mae the money and has her make him her beneficiary.

In Havana Sadie and Mae pretend to be rich. Drunk Duffy (Frank McHugh) comes into their room to open beer bottles, and Mae finds Deacon Jones (Guy Kibbee) in her bed. Sadie calls Duffy to come over; but she knocks him out before she learns he is the lawyer. At a nightclub Bob Jones (Lyle Talbot) tells his father Deacon that his wife Emily (Ruth Donnelly) is there. Emily takes Deacon away, and Bob dances with Mae. Duffy tells Sadie that Bob has no money. Bob kisses Mae. Herman realizes he forged a check and learns that Otis is gone and that Mae went to Havana, not Kansas. Butch is looking for Herman, who goes to Havana.

Sadie tells Mae their bill is $600. Sadie plots with Duffy and Mae to trap Deacon. Drunk Herman tells drunk Duffy what happened. Duffy takes Herman as a witness, offering $10. Because Emily is jealous, Deacon gives the note to Bob, who goes to Mae, waiting in bed. In the lobby Herman sees Butch. Duffy and Herman call on Sadie. Herman asks for his dough from Mae, or Butch will get him. Herman threatens to collect on Mae's insurance; but they teach him his role as outraged husband. Deacon goes to find his son Bob and is stripped by two men. Butch sees Herman and chases him. Mae joins Deacon, and Sadie gives the signal. Deacon cries "Frame-up." Butch catches Herman. Mae, Sadie, and Duffy are arrested. In court Emily does not press charges, because now she can get a divorce. They are told to leave Cuba. On the boat Bob tells Mae that he will get a job, and Herman weds Sadie.

This gold-digging farce plays upon Havana as the current recreation area for millionaires, as attractive women use their charms as bait in fishing for riches.

Copyright © 2001 by Sanderson Beck

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