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Miss Pacific Fleet

(1935 b 66')

En: 5 Ed: 4

Two women, who want to get back to New York, try to win a popularity contest and are helped by a boxing sailor.

August Freytag (Hugh Herbert) is president of the Go-Getters Club and announces their beauty contest with a vote for each ten-cents of a purchase. His jealous wife Sadie Freytag (Minna Gombell) calls him, and he drinks. Gloria Fay (Joan Blondell) and Mae O'Brien (Glenda Farrell) work in a ring-toss booth, and sailor Kewpie Wiggins (Allen Jenkins) wins all their prizes. August calls on Kewpie and calls his wife. Mae calls Kewpie to invite him over and plans to get him arrested. August enters while Kewpie gets ice. He drinks, and Gloria tells him to leave. A cop comes in and arrests Gloria for conspiracy. Kewpie says Gloria is out of jail but has to collect money. Gloria and Mae owe $60 rent. Kewpie says he is boxing to win 5,000 votes in the contest. Gloria and Mae go out but discourage Marine Tom Foster (Warren Hull). Kewpie brings in August. Tom dances with Gloria, and August dances with Mae. August avoids his wife Sadie. Kewpie flatters Sadie, and she leaves with August.

Kewpie gets votes for Gloria, and Virgie Matthews (Marie Wilson) greets him warmly. In a canoe Tom kisses Gloria, who comes home late. Mae tells Gloria that Kewpie is suspicious. Mae and Gloria want to go back to New York, and Gloria moves up to second in the popularity contest. Mae tells Kewpie that Gloria couldn't see him hurt boxing. August announces the fight. Kewpie is knocked down many times; but after he sees Tom holding Gloria, he wins by a knock-out. Kewpie gives the 5,000 tickets to Virgie. At breakfast August argues with his wife. Sadie offers Nick (Guinn Williams) $100 to keep Gloria out of town. Sadie calls Mae so she can meet Gloria. Virgie quarrels and starts a brawl among the sailors. Mae calls Kewpie that Gloria was abducted. Kewpie sees them in a speed-boat and goes after them. Kewpie is grabbed and fights; then he finds Sadie and faints. August announces that Gloria is the winner. In the final scene people watch a train depart as Gloria kisses Tom, and Mae tells Kewpie to kiss her.

The underlying desperation of Gloria and Mae is relieved by the comedic fantasy of winning a popularity contest though such slim hopes are realized by few people. Boxing may seem entertaining, but what is happening to the pummeled brains of the fighters?

Copyright © 2001 by Sanderson Beck

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